Scripted Roads

Scripted Roads
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  • Automobiles and Highway Infrastructure in the 1950s
  • Okay class, that ends today’s lecture on Automobiles and Highway Infrastructure in the 1950s, does anyone have any questions?
  • I do!  Professor, you mentioned that “In the 1950s and 60s, the need for a national transportation system was promoted as a matter of life and death,” (Ganzel, B., 2007) can you clarify what you meant by that?
  • Automobiles and Highway Infrastructure in the 1950s
  • Certainly, “for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Interstate was a matter of national security – 79 percent of the U.S. public believed that the Soviet Union intended to rule the world, and if nuclear war erupted, Ike said, the population would need good roads to evacuate from contaminated areas and to move military equipment” (Ganzel, B., 2007). 
  • Automobiles and Highway Infrastructure in the 1950s
  • Professor, I read that in the 1950s, the “development of the motor car and it’s design moved from simple a machine of transport to an ideological weapon” (Corn, J. J., 1989, p. 222).  Do you think that the change in design is linked to the fear that Americans had over the Cold War?
  • Most definitely Trey! ”The Cold War touched many aspects of American social and cultural life, from the civil rights movement to survivalism, from Hollywood to the universities. The nuclear threat—and the Communist menace lurking behind it-- brought, the interstate highway system,” (American Society & Culture in the Cold War) and changed the automobile industry.  Cars evolved into a streamline method of transportation.
  • Automobiles and Highway Infrastructure in the 1950s
  • Professor, do you have any specific childhood memories that you could share from that time? As a matter of fact I do…
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