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Military Vehicle Convoy to Travel Lincoln Highway -Tama Stop is Friday, Aug. 23

August 17, 2019
From: Jan Gammon - Prairie Rivers of Iowa Lincoln Highway, Heritage Byway Coordinator , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway, managed by Prairie Rivers of Iowa, is welcoming the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) to Iowa. MVPA is departing on a 100th Anniversary Convoy across the United States with 65 or more historic military vehicles retracing the original 1919 U.S. Army's transcontinental route along the famous Lincoln Highway including the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway in Iowa.

The convoy departed from Washington, D.C., on Aug. 11, and will travel the highway entering Iowa at Clinton on Aug. 22 and departing through Council Bluffs on Aug. 25 with overnight stays in DeWitt, at the Marshalltown Veterans Home and Denison. Breaks with take place in Lowden, the Marion Public Library, Belle Plaine, the Tama Lincoln Highway Bridge, Nevada during the Lincoln Highway Days parade, the Boone National Guard, Jefferson, Woodbine and Missouri Valley or Crescent.

Visitors are encouraged to view the convoy vehicles, ask questions during stops and line the highway to wave a hand or an American flag while the vehicles are moving along the road.

Article Photos

Historic photo of the original 1919 Transcontinental Military Convoy during a stop in the 100 block of West 3rd Street in downtown Tama.
-Photo courtesy of Lincoln Highway Association Archive, Transportation History Collection, Special Collections Library, University of Michigan

In 1919, the US Army decided to proceed with a plan to traverse the newly-formed Lincoln Highway with the objectives to say "thanks" to American public for their support during WWI, put their equipment through rigorous testing, see how road conditions affected military travel, conduct a transcontinental recruiting drive and demonstrate the need for good roads.

Eisenhower Led Convoy

A young Lieutenant Colonel Dwight Eisenhower along with 23 other officers, 15 War Department staff observation officers and 258 enlisted men made the arduous journey. Eisenhower learned first-hand the difficulty of covering great distances on often impassable roads that resulted in frequent breakdowns that later helped him during his presidency in the creation of the interstate highway system.

Article Map

"The 1919 convoy was really quite an undertaking. To get that much equipment and that many men over such diverse topography, they had their work cut out for them. Even today with our air-conditioned cars, GPS, and easy access to fuel, fuel, lodging, and rest stops, a transcontinental trip can be difficult. We are pleased to welcome the MPVA to Iowa and hope they enjoy their time here," says Prairie Rivers of Iowa Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Coordinator Jan Gammon.

This is a once-in-a-hundred year event that will fun and educational while paying tribute to our veterans. Visit for the complete schedule and for more association info.



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