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Along the Lincoln Highway

Lincoln Highway

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Last summer, Weekend America started a trip across the Lincoln Highway, America's first coast-to-coast road. The road opened in 1913 and started the venerable American tradition of the cross-country car trip. So now we are starting the New Year by wrapping up the trip at the highway's end, in California. We sent Weekend America's Pat Loeb to drive the final stretch, which for her, was like a dream come true.

Notes from Producer Pat Loeb

Philadelphians are known for their insularity and I was no exception. Except for a day trip to the Jersey shore once each summer, I'd never been anywhere else. So I was overwhelmed with a sense of wonder when I started reading the thin little blue paperback geography book we had in 3rd grade, "A Trip Across the Lincoln Highway." This road I'd never heard of went right through Philadelphia and on, 3,500 miles, all the way to California. It passed through the "Bread Basket," I learned, and skirted Yellowstone National Park, where visitors watched Old Faithful shoot skyward. The desire to see these things for myself felt like it would burn a whole right through me. I didn't know that, in our poorly funded, archdiocesan schools, the textbooks were not the most current. The Lincoln Highway had been extinct for 20 years before I even read about it. But it remains a mental touchstone for me—a symbol of the wanderlust I discovered in myself, while reading about it.

More stories from our Along the Lincoln Highway series


  • Comment | Refresh

  • By Ron Perry

    From Merrill, MI, 04/14/2015

    I've been looking for the Lincoln Highway geography book. I attended Catholic school in the 50's and 60's and this book taught me the value of reading and learning.

    By dennis champney


    probably had the same text in Catholic school in the 1950's Brooklyn

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