National Highway Week, 1971
By the President of the United States of America
When the Erie Canal opened in 1825 it quickly acquired the slogan "A Cent and a Half a Mile, a Mile and a Half an Hour." Our toll roads now cost the traveller nearly the same amount, but the trip from New York to Buffalo that once took five days by barge at a mile and a half per hour now takes less than ten hours by automobile and can be travelled at 65 miles per hour.
The highways built since the Erie Canal have become the dominant element in our national transportation system and a key force in virtually every phase of modern American life. These roads not only provide avenues of commerce for our nation's economy, but also help to make available the services and pleasures of our daily existence. Our rapidly developing 42,500 mile System of Interstate and Defense Highway is especially helpful for the traveller who wishes to visit recreational areas and historic sites that previously were known only through photographs.
In our present day, by serving as the conduit for a large proportion of mass transit in urban areas, highways go far toward meeting our needs for the best possible transportation. In the future, as a part of a balanced system of growth, they should be a key part of an integrated and comprehensive transportation plan for these urban areas, linking other vital means of transportation by air, rail and water. In this proliferation of American highways we find a clear reflection of the good which men can do by planning and working together in common needs.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning September 19, 1971, as National Highway Week. I urge Federal, State, and local government officials, as well as highway industry and other organizations, to hold appropriate ceremonies during that week in recognition of what highway transportation means to our country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-sixth.