Smithsonian

Grading Key


Grading Key Document A

Article from 1940 that describes how the displacement of homes and businesses will negatively impact minorities and small businesses.

Document B

Telegram from 1948 in which the sender pleas that President Truman postpone the construction of the superhighway until people can relocate their homes and/or businesses.

Document C

Picture of the groundbreaking ceremony for the first interstate.

Document D

Advertisement illustrating the increasing popularity of chain restaurants and motels along the interstate.

Document E

Poster in protest of the construction of the Interstate Highway System, which affected many inner-city communities.

Document F

Photograph from the early 1960s showing how the interstates and freeways led to the degradation of air quality and the increase of time spent in cars.

Additional Information beyond the Documents

The documents provide students with only fragments of evidence. Answers should include relevant information from beyond the documents—information that students have gathered from their classroom study. The following list suggests some of the concepts, people, and events from outside learning that students might use in their essays.

  • Federal Highway Act of 1956—Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Stimulation of businesses—construction jobs, gasoline, oil, trucking, travel industries
  • Negative effects—air quality, energy consumption, decline of railroads, suburban sprawl
  • Decline of inner cities, white flight
  • Creation of national chain stores such as McDonald’s and Howard Johnson’s
  • 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination in any business related to interstate commerce
  • 5th Amendment—eminent domain
  • Destruction of existing homes and businesses and the rise of new homes and businesses