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PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 04/14/1941 - HFSID 43181

IN 1941, FDR SIGNS A TYPED LETTER INVITING CALIFORNIA'S STATE HIGHWAY ENGINEER TO JOIN AN ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON CREATION OF A NATIONAL HIGHWAY SYSTEM.   FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT. Typed Letter Signed: "Franklin D. Roosevelt" as President, 1p, 8x10½. The White House, Washington, 1941 April 14.

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IN 1941, FDR SIGNS A TYPED LETTER INVITING CALIFORNIA'S STATE HIGHWAY ENGINEER TO JOIN AN ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON CREATION OF A NATIONAL HIGHWAY SYSTEM.
 
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT.
Typed Letter Signed: "Franklin D. Roosevelt" as President, 1p, 8x10½. The White House, Washington, 1941 April 14. To Honorable C.H. Purcell, State Highway Engineer, Sacramento, California. In full: "I am asking you to serve as a member of an Interregional Highway Committee which is to serve in an advisory capacity to the Federal Works Administrator. The Committee is to review existing data and surveys for the purpose of recommending and outlining a limited system of national highways designed to provide a basis for improved interregional transportation. I should like to have the Committee make an early study, so that as a result of their recommendations we can shortly undertake the preparation of detailed plans and specifications. This will permit us, upon the completion of our defense program, to utilize productively some of the man power and industrial capacity then available to construct a national system of interregional highways." Receipt stamp at upper left portion. On April 27, 1939, Roosevelt transmitted a report to Congress recommending that Congress consider action on a "special system of direct interregional highways, with all necessary connections through and around cities, designed to meet the requirements of the national defense and the needs of a growing peacetime traffic of longer range." WWII had begun in Europe on September 1, 1939. By 1941, President Roosevelt, anticipating US entry into the war, was already thinking about the post-war period, referred to in this letter as "upon the completion of our defense program". He feared resumption of the Depression if American soldiers returned from the war and were unable to find jobs. A major highway program could be part of the answer. On April 14, 1941, the President appointed seven members to a newly created National Interregional Highway Committee. As he put it, the goal was "to investigate the need for a limited system of national highways to improve the facilities now available for interregional transportation, and to advise the Federal Works Administrator as to the desirable character of such improvement, and the possibility of utilizing some of the manpower and industrial capacity expected to be available at the end of the war." THIS LETTER WAS ONE OF THESE APPOINTMENTS. The other members appointed were: Thomas H. MacDonald (Commissioner of Public Roads and Chairman of the Committee), Bibb Graves (former Governor of Alabama), G. Donald Kennedy (State Highway Commissioner, Michigan), Frederic A. Delano (Chairman, National Resources Planning Board), Harland Bartholomew (City Planner, St. Louis, Missouri) and Rexford Guy Tugwell (Chairman, New York City Planning Commission). The "Interregional Highways" study, released on January 14, 1943, recommended an interregional highway system of 63,000 km (39,146.37 miles), designed to accommodate traffic 20 years from the date of construction. Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Stray ink mark at right margin above signature. Staple holes at upper left corner, two file holes with paper reinforcements at blank left margin. Fine condition.

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