GALION — On a sunny July morning in 1919, some 300 military personnel and 81 heavy vehicles assembled on the south side of the White House in Washington D.C. The convoy was about to embark on a historic trip over the Lincoln Highway.
Their destination was 3,300 miles away in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. There were no maps for the route out west, no service stations, and the convoy relied on the limited knowledge of a handful of earlier pioneers. The convoy was a huge national story, cheered on by millions of people who lined the route. Among the 300 members of the convoy was a 28-year-old lieutenant colonel named Dwight Eisenhower.
A centennial re-enactment of this convoy passed through Galion on Saturday, Aug. 17 and many Galionites and others came out to greet the many historic military vehicles.
Utilizing the convoy’s official daily log and other secondary material, author Michael S. Owen drove the exact route of the convoy in his book “After Ike, On the Trail of the Century-Old Journey that changed America.”
Owen relates the particulars of the convoy’s historic trip and chronicles the myriad changes along the route over the years. “After Ike” is the story of that trip, how it changed this nation, and how it continues to impact us today.
Michael S. Owen is a retired United States Ambassador. During his 30 years as a Foreign Service Officer, he worked in numerous countries across Africa and Asia. Now that he’s back home, he’s delighting in traveling around his own country and has driven over the Lincoln Highway several times.
He has published several short stories in literary journals, but “After Ike” is his first full-length book.
Michael S. Owens will be in Galion on Tuesday, Sept. 3, briefly for a lunch during the national Lincoln Highway commemorative cross-country auto tour to San Francisco. Anyone wishing to purchase his book — and have it signed — may stop in at Historic Grace Church, 201 S. Union St. (across from Brownella Cottage) between 1 and 1:30 p.m.