NPR’s Weekend Edition is currently airing “I-95: The Road Most Traveled.” The public radio series examines how “one of the least romantic roads ever built” transformed the Eastern Seaboard. Travelling up the Atlantic Coast, the radio journalist stopped for a Delaware segment titled “That’s No Rest Stop, It’s a Travel Plaza.” Click here to go over to the series and check out some of the installments, including the Delaware Travel Plaza.
President John F. Kennedy joined Delaware Governor Elbert N. Carvel and Maryland Governor J. Millard Tawes on the Mason Dixon Line on Nov. 14, 1963, to cut the ribbon opening the link in the Interstate from Florida to New England. Arriving in a fleet of three helicopters, the president remarked to the crowd of over 5,000 that a driver would “now be able to go from Washington to New York without having to stop for a traffic light.” Until the two limited access highways opened, a driver going along U.S. 40- from the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel to State Road would have to “buck 30 traffic lights, 124 grade crossing or other roads and 1,200 commercial and private entrances onto U.S. 40, the Evening Journal of Wilmington reported.
At the time of the dedication it was called the Northeastern Expressway in Maryland and the Delaware Turnpike on the eastern side of the Mason Dixon Line. But following the tragedy in Dallas, Maryland named its part the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway.