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President Kennedy Dedicates Highway at Mason-Dixon Line

Nov. 14, 1963 - President Kennedy cut a blue and gray ribbon stretched across the Mason-Dixon line today, opening the missing link of a north-south highway. The President played no favorites in dedicating the 59-mile stretch of four-lane Interstate Route 95. His helicopter landed on the Mason-Dixon Line, and he spoke from a platform straddling the historic frontier between what was once slave and free soil. Civil rights pickets carrying placards paraded on the north side of the line, in Delaware territory, just a few dozen feet from where the President spoke. One sign stated: “Mr. President, you’ve opened highway No. 95. Now, help us open public accommodations.” There were no pickets on the Maryland, or Southern side of the line. The President was introduced by Robert Moses, head of the New York World’s Fair, as “the chief architect of our present highway system.” Joining the President in clipping the ribbon to open the highway were Gov. Elbert Carvel of Delaware and Gov. J. Millard Tawes of Maryland. Minutes later, the President left for New York City, where he will address the labor federation convention tomorrow before going to Palm Beach, Fla., for the weekend.


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