Skip to content
CityLab
Government

CityLab on the Road

We’re hopping on the historic Lincoln Highway, America’s first coast-to-coast thoroughfare.
relates to CityLab on the Road
Wikipedia/Royal Square/Madison McVeigh/CityLab

In the beginning, the Lincoln Highway was more an idea than a highway. But it was a very powerful idea.

On its dedication—Halloween, 1913—the towns and cities along the 3,300-mile route erupted in what the San Francisco Chronicle called “spontaneous expressions of gratification”—a wave of municipal celebrations animated by “the spirit of the great national boulevard.” The governor of Wyoming declared a day of “old-time jollification … and general rejoicing” that included, in a town called Rawlings, the erection of an enormous pyramid of wool. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, residents enjoyed a festive shower of locally made Quaker Oats.