In 1797, the steam locomotive is invented in England. Also in England, in 1823, the first public railway in the world opens.
In 1833, Andrew Jackson travels from Baltimore to Ellicott's Mills, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to ride the rails.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signs the Pacific Railroad Act for the construction of the transcontinental railroad that will ultimately link California with the rest of the nation.
In 1865, the “golden age” of railroads begins. For nearly half a century, no other mode of transportation challenges railroads. During these years, the rail network grows from 35,000 to a peak of 254,000 miles in 1916.
In 1869, on May 10, at Promontory, in the Utah Territory, the “Golden Spike” joins the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, marking completion of the first transcontinental railroad.
Between 1900–1940, by the eve of World War II, automobiles, large buses, trucks, planes, and pipelines—supported by government subsidies and less burdened by regulation than railroads—have become full-fledged competitors to railroads.
And over the bridges!
The highest bridge in the world can be found in the Ladakh valley between the Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan mountains. The valley lies at an altitude of about 18,379 ft above sea level on the India side of Kashmir. Called the Baily Bridge, it is only 98 ft long, and was built by the Indian Army in August 1982.
The bridge that stands highest over water is the Royal Gorge Bridge over the Arkansas River in Colorado. Built in 1929 for $350,000, it spans 1,053 ft above the water.
The largest bridge in the world is the 8,25 miles long Trans Bay Bridge which links San Francisco to Oakland. It was built in 1936 at a cost of $77 million.
The world's largest natural bridge is the Rainbow Bridge, tucked away among the rugged, isolated canyons at the base of Navajo Mountain, Utah. From its base to the top of the arch, it reaches 290 ft - nearly the height of the Statue of Liberty - and spans 275 ft across the river. The top of the arch is 42 ft thick and 33 ft wide.
The world's busiest bridge is the Howrah bridge across the river Hooghly in Calcutta. In addition to 57,000 vehicles a day it carries a huge number of pedestrians across its 1,500 ft long 72 ft wide span.
The longest bridge in the world is the Pontchartrain bridge in New Orleans with a total length of 24 miles. It was completed in 1956. The most expensive bridge is the Seto- Ohashi-Kojima bridge in Japan. At 8,21 miles long, it was built in 1988 at a cost of $8.3 billion.
But if you're driving, watch the laws in various states you travel through!
In Alaska, authorities have found it necessary to declare it illegal to tether a dog to the roof of a car.
Officials in Glendale, California, no doubt, caved in to insurance lobbyists when they inexplicably decided to make it illegal to jump from a car at 65 mph.
In Topeka, Kansas, it is unlawful to transport dead poultry along Kansas Avenue
In University City, Missouri, officials have made it illegal to honk the horn of someone else’s car.
Officials in Dunn, North Carolina deem it illegal to drive on sidewalks. Residents should also take note that playing in traffic is also against the law.
In Scituate, Rhode Island, it is illegal to drive with beer in your vehicle even if it is unopened. This might pose a problem for beer delivery drivers!
And a fun little bonus quote:
"The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it."