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February 3, 2016 1:00 PM, EST
DOT Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation was established by an act of Congress in October 1966 and didn’t being operations until April 1, 1967. Those facts didn’t stop DOT from celebrating its 50th anniversary at a ceremony in Washington on Feb. 3 attended by Secretary Anthony Foxx and six of his predecessors.

All of those leaders cited DOT’s continual focus on safety, with 93-year-old Alan Boyd, the department’s first secretary, recalling Ford Motor Co. CEO Henry Ford II telling him that the American public didn’t want and would never use “safety belts.”

In addition to Foxx and Boyd, the other secretaries on hand were James Burnley (who served for President Ronald Reagan), Samuel Skinner (George H.W. Bush), Rodney Slater (Bill Clinton) and Norman Mineta and Mary Peters (both George W. Bush).

Foxx awarded a framed copy of DOT’s 50th anniversary logo to Lynda Johnson Robb, daughter of Lyndon Johnson, the late president who pushed for the department’s creation as part of his “Great Society” program. Foxx was presented with a large replica of a postmark with the logo by Deputy Postmaster General Rodney Stroman.