Introduction to the 2019 Tour
by Jim Cassler
The Lincoln Highway Association is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a tour commemorating the centennial of the 1919 Army convoy across the Lincoln Highway. The original convoy during the summer of 1919 was a monumental event in the history of the United States. On that convoy was a young army officer named Dwight Eisenhower, who learned many lessons as they crossed the country on the Lincoln Highway.
Eisenhower learned that military vehicles were often too heavy to cross bridges designed for passenger cars, resulting in the need for temporary bridges to enable river crossings. This knowledge proved useful when the Allied forces moved men and equipment across Europe during World War II, as the Germans destroyed bridges in their path.
Eisenhower also learned the importance of good roads, not only for civilian travel, but also for national defense, as it is imperative for the armed forces to be able to move quickly and efficiently to provide this important function. This knowledge was reinforced again during World War II, when Eisenhower saw the great roads the Germans had on which to move their war machine. From these experiences came today’s Interstate Highway System, which had its start during Eisenhower’s presidency in the 1950s.
During the first two weeks of September 2019, we will retrace the path of Eisenhower and the Army convoy. The tour will begin near the White House in Washington, D.C. and will travel at a leisurely pace, averaging under 200 miles daily, ending in San Francisco at the Lincoln Highway’s western terminus. Because of the historic nature of this tour, participants are welcome and encouraged to drive vintage vehicles from any era — military or civilian — as you please.
The event is structured so that it allows each vehicle’s “crew” to travel at its own pace during each day. Meals, attractions and lodging are pre-arranged, and we always gather as a whole group for dinner each evening. Participants can join the tour for a minimum of two days, for the whole length, or anything in between. The number of vehicles is limited to 60 at any time.