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Before the Highway

When the interstate highway system was created in the mid-20th century, the routes isolated or destroyed urban neighborhoods nationwide, particularly those with predominantly Black or poor populations. Seven older adults who lived in those places share their memories and observations

The names of 6 cities are highlighted on a historical map of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways

Library of Congress

JUNE 1958: The cities highlighted in yellow — (clockwise from top left) Saint Paul, Minnesota; Rochester, New York; Columbus, Ohio; Chattanooga, Tennessee; St. Petersburg, Florida; Houston, Texas — are discussed in the interviews list below.

Find this page again by using the URL AARP.org/BeforeTheHighway


INTRODUCTION

THE MEMORIES

Florida: St. Petersburg

Minnesota: Saint Paul


New York: Rochester

New York: Rochester


Ohio: Columbus

Tennessee: Chattanooga


Texas: Houston

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"Before the Highway" 

Editor: Melissa Stanton | Writers: Jimmie Briggs, Reina Sims | Copy Editor: Don Armstrong
Contributors: Kathleen Benedetti-Fisher, Laura Cantwell, Tracy Matthews, Mandla Moyo, Martin Penny, Shondra Wygal

Page published February 1, 2023

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