Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), a Republican, was the popular 34th President of the United States, serving two terms from 1953 to 1961. Prior to his presidency, Eisenhower was a lifelong military man, commanding the D-Day invasion while serving as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II.
Eisenhower encountered the poor conditions of America's roadways firsthand in 1919. As a member of the Transcontinental Motor Convoy, he toured the country with a group of military officials sent from Washington, D.C. to California to investigate the conditions of America's roads. These experiences later inspired Eisenhower to advocate for the improvement of roads and the construction of highways. As president, he signed the Interstate Highway Act into law in 1956. Today, the American highway system is formally known as the "Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways."