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“The biggest peacetime construction project of any description ever undertaken by the United States or any other country” began in 1956 with passage of the Federal Aid Highway Act which provided funding for the national interstate highway system. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the driving force behind the passage of the bill, in large part because of his military experiences. In 1919, he was part of an army convoy that had to travel cross-country on inadequate roads, and as Supreme Commander in Europe during World War II he saw the substantial economic and military benefits that the autobahn gave Germany.
Construction of Delaware’s portion of the interstate highway system began in 1962 and the Turnpike was dedicated on November 14, 1963. The dedication was held on the Delaware and Maryland border.
The Scrapbooks consists of newspaper clippings and photographs that document Delaware Turnpike activities and events. Notable subjects include the construction of the highway, President John F. Kennedy’s participation in the dedication ceremony, maps, Turnpike appointments, tolls, Mason and Dixon boundary marker, JFK memorial wreath and services, vehicle accidents, Hot Shoppes service plaza, effects on Route 40 businesses, Turnpike officials and employees, I-95 construction completion, public safety, and Turnpike expansion. The Scrapbooks were compiled by Turnpike staff.