First federal highway authorized

March 29, 1806

First federal highway authorized

In an effort to connect the states by land and facilitate trade, President Thomas Jefferson, on March 29, 1806, signed legislation authorizing a road from Cumberland, Maryland, to Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia). The Great National Pike, more commonly known as the Cumberland Road, was the first federal highway.

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/06nov/02.cfm