A sentinel moment of U.S. history is playing out Sunday in South Bend when the recreation of the U.S. Army Transcontinental Military Convoy rolls into town. Approximately 70 historic military vehicles are retracing the original 1919 cross country trip which traveled along the famed Lincoln Highway.
The historic convoy crosses into Indiana on Sunday morning along U.S. 30 in Allen County, through Fort Wayne, and onto South Bend where it will bivouac overnight. On Monday the team continues west towards Valparaiso and then onto Illinois.
The convoy was to test the mobility of the military during wartime conditions. It took the original convoy two months to make the 3,200-mile trip.
A young military officer, Lieutenant Colonel Dwight Eisenhower took part in the journey. According to President Eisenhower archives, the lengthy trip was one reason Eisenhower created the national interstate highway system when he was president.
Organized by the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, the convoy will stop at the St. Joseph County 4-H fairgrounds Sunday to allow the public to view the vehicles. The drivers are made up of military and history enthusiasts.
According to Visit South Bend Mishawaka, the group will return to South Bend in two years for its annual convention at Century Center The tourism organization expects the event to create more than 1,000 hotel room nights in St. Joseph County during the four-day gathering.
The convoy left Washington DC on August 11. Organizers expect it to arrive in San Francisco on September 12.