1910-1919

 

1910

Lobbies at a meeting at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., Feb. 15-17, for passage of the Federal Registration Bill, which would eliminate state barriers to interstate travel.

Begins selling American Express travelers checks.

About this time

Boy Scouts of America is incorporated.

1911

Publishes its first European map and “Trail to Sunset,” a booklet of strip maps detailing a AAA Pathfinder’s route from New York to Jacksonville. Strip maps are combined to make what is now known as the famous AAA TripTik® routings.

Supervises the first Indianapolis 500 race on Memorial Day through its Contest Board.

About this time

White lines denoting traffic lanes are used for the first time in the U.S. in Wayne County, Mich.

1912

Uses an oval shape for the first time in the AAA logo. The AAA logo has changed several times over the years, most recently in 1997, but the popular oval has always been incorporated into the logo.

Makes its first foray into the insurance industry when the Automobile Club of Southern California establishes an auto insurance underwriting organization.

Publishes its first transcontinental map in sheet map form. It is the first map AAA copyrighted, and it sold for 25 cents. AAA also publishes a series of guidebooks titled Lakes to Gulf, Dixie Trails and Seminole Trails for planning trips from the north to the south and sold them for $1 each.

About this time

British passenger liner RMS Titanic sinks on its maiden voyage, and more than 1,500 people perish.

1913

Moves the AAA National Office from New York City to Washington, D.C.

Works successfully through Automobile Club of Southern California to open national parks to automobiles. AAA continues to work with public officials to identify ways to better manage access to the national parks, so all visitors can enjoy and appreciate their unique natural beauty.

About this time

On Sept. 10, the Lincoln Highway opens between New York City and San Francisco. It is the first paved road running from coast to coast.

1914

Successfully opposes legislation to levy a registration fee, wheel tax and excise tax on automobiles.

Begins transcontinental highway signing project through Automobile Club of Southern California and erects 4,000 road signs between Los Angeles and Kansas City, Mo., to designate the National Old Trails route.

Creates the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHTO) with the American Highway Association.

About this time

World War I begins. The Panama Canal officially opens. Congress sets up the Federal Trade Commission and passes the Clayton Antitrust Act.

1915

First provides signature emergency road service through the Automobile Club of St. Louis. In its earliest forms, service includes fixing tires, engines or small problems, rather than towing. The first providers of this service are five men on motorcycles, called the First Aid Corp, who drive the streets of St. Louis on Sundays looking for stranded motorists. They assist motorists in getting back on the road, whether or not they are auto club members.

About this time

D.W. Griffith’s film, Birth of a Nation, is released. Albert Einstein writes General Theory of Relativity.

1916

Successfully works to get Yellowstone National Park opens to automobile traffic for the first time.

About this time

Congress establishes the National Park Service. Annual passenger car production exceeds one million. U.S. buys Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million.

1917

Publishes first hotel directory in a single publication. Previous directories had been published in American Motorist.

Issues first pedestrian resolution, which requires pedestrians to abide by signals of traffic officers and cross only in designated places. Jaywalking is considered prima facie evidence of carelessness.

About this time

U.S. declares war on Germany, entering World War I. The world’s first automobile tow truck, the Holmes Wrecker, makes its debut.

1918

Successfully opposes a 2-cent-per-gallon federal gasoline tax.

Calls on the War Industries Board to put road materials and machinery on priority lists. Due to lack of official recognition, highway construction and maintenance become increasingly difficult, and AAA stresses that highways are an essential part of transportation in times of war as well as peace. In addition, AAA is instrumental in securing congressional action to provide surplus war materials to states for building roads and asks car owners to do their own driving to free up skilled drivers and auto mechanics for the war effort.

About this time

A worldwide influenza epidemic strikes, killing 20 million people by 1920. In the U.S., 500,000 perish.

1919

Supports and Congress passes the Dyer Anti-theft Act, making the transportation of stolen vehicles across state lines a federal offense.

Begins Roadside Protection Program designed to protect highways, and the safety and comfort of travel by planting trees, removing objectionable signs, clearing curves and crossings for better visibility, and establishing sanitary conditions.

Becomes a member of Alliance Internationale de Tourisme (AIT), a global organization of auto clubs. The AAA National Office continues to work closely with this and other international organizations on reciprocal programs, business practices exchange, international public policy and organization of global motoring club information.

About this time

Oregon levies the first state gasoline tax at 1 cent per gallon.

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