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Lincoln Highway Documentary on PBS


There is a good documentary for the Lincoln Highway in Wyoming:

Video Link:

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--- Quote ---"100 Years on the Lincoln Highway" is the story of the first coast to coast automobile road in the United States. Beginning in Times Square, New York City and ending at Lincoln Park in San Francisco. It was the first real attempt to develop, map, sign and promote a road across the nation. Established in 1913, it traversed more than 3300 miles, cutting across twelve states and four time zones.

Backed by auto manufacturers and auto parts makers, the Lincoln Highway was at first just a collection of existing roads—decaying turnpikes and farm to market roads in the east and wagon and ranch trails in the west. But that soon changed as automobiles became more affordable and numerous people demanded more than rough and often muddy byways. Now the idea of an auto trip further than the confines of their city or town became a real possibility. The Great American Road Trip was born.

In Wyoming, the Lincoln Highway traveled roughly the route of the Transcontinental Railroad 50 years earlier. In fact, in some portions of the state, the Lincoln reclaimed and reused the abandoned bed of the railroad. It crossed into Wyoming at Pine Bluffs near the Nebraska border and traveled westward through Cheyenne and Laramie, Medicine Bow and Rawlins, Rock Springs and Green River, then on to Granger, Lyman, Fort Bridger and Evanston.
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--- Quote ---A driver traveling Interstate 80 between Cheyenne and Laramie encounters a curious sight. There, at the point where the road achieves Sherman Summit, which at 8,878 feet marks the highest point along the transcontinental highway, appears a 13-foot tall bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln.

What a giant bronze of the 16th president is doing along this remote stretch of highway is difficult to discern for a driver traveling in excess of 75 miles per hour. Wyoming, after all, was not a state during the time Lincoln was in office. What connection could he possibly have to this land renowned for its cowboys and wildcatters?

The curious traveler, who pulls over at the rest area beside the sculpture, learns the monument is as much a memento to the late president as it is to the road that later bore his name.

The Lincoln Highway was, in a way, America’s first road. It was the first to traverse the country from east to west. It sparked the idea of the great American road trip. It supported myriad businesses. The Little America Hotel sprung up along its side. It helped Medicine Bow, once boasting 57 small businesses, thrive.
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--- Quote ---The roadway's journey, from staring role in the opening act of American automobile history to historical footnote, was the impetus for filmmakers Tom Manning and Kyle Nicholoff’s documentary, "One Hundred Years on the Lincoln Highway."

The film was produced by Wyoming PBS and recently took home two Rocky Mountain Regional Emmys, for best historical documentary and director. The awards are the station’s first regional Emmys in its 31-year history.

The honor is especially sweet given Wyoming PBS’ size compared with the competition, said Ruby Calvert, the station’s general manager. With 23 full-time employees, Wyoming PBS is the smallest public television station in the country. Vermont, with some 40 employees, employs the second smallest staff.
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--- Quote ---The movie, which premiered in March, was aided in large part by a trove of photographs of the road’s constructions in the archives of the University of Michigan. Manning and Nicholoff weave these visual and audio resources into tales from the road.

Like the competition between Medicine Bow and Elk Mountain to have the road officially routed through their respective communities. The owner of Medicine Bow’s Virginian Hotel, August Grimm, eventually took matters into his own hands. He sent out a team setting signs demarcating the highway through his town.

Or the time Eisenhower, then a junior officer in the Army, was part of a cross-country convoy traveling the Lincoln Highway. The road’s poor condition, combined with the sight of the German Autobahn during World War II, convinced the eventual president the United States needed an interstate highway system for national defense.

Ultimately, “One Hundred Years on the Lincoln Highway” seeks to resurrect some of that history and inspire Wyomingites to take to road again.
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Really enjoyed this, thanks for posting!

Just watched this today, it’s on the PBS app as well if you want to watch it on a TV.


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