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An international convoy of historic military vehicles traveling from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco will stop in New Haven Sunday morning, Aug. 18.

The convoy of 50-plus vehicles will travel that day from Delphos, Ohio, to South Bend, Indiana, approximately 137 miles.

The New Haven-Adams Township Parks & Recreation Department will host the Transcontinental Motor Convoy at Schnelker Park in New Haven at approximately 8:30 a.m. The group’s morning break will last about 30 minutes and is open to the public.

Mike Clendenen, parks superintendent, said the department is honored to host the convoy.

The convoy will stop for lunch at the American Legion in Churubusco before rolling along U.S. 33 toward the St. Joseph County 4-H Fairgrounds in South Bend.

As many as 70 historic military vehicles will participate in the association’s 100th anniversary convoy, retracing the original 1919 U.S. Army’s Transcontinental Motor Convoy route along the famed Lincoln Highway.

The MVPA 2019 Transcontinental Motor Convoy launched from Washington, D.C., on Aug. 11 to arrive in San Francisco on Sept. 14.

More than 50 historic military vehicles are expected to travel the entire 3,200-plus-mile coast-to-coast route.

The convoy will follow the original Lincoln Highway route as closely as possible. The route begins on the lowlands of the eastern seaboard, traverses the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, travels the lush farmlands of the Midwest, crosses the high plains, dips into the Great Salt Lake Basin in Utah, crosses the Nevada Desert, climbs the Sierra Nevada and descends to Lake Tahoe, and ends in the splendor of California and the San Francisco Bay area.

In 1919, the U.S. Army decided to plan and execute a motor convoy of various vehicles across the country, on the newly formed Lincoln Highway. In general, the route began at the White House and ended at Lincoln Park, in San Francisco, traversing about 3,250 miles and taking 62 days. It was the first major convoy ever to cross the entire country.

Objectives of the convoy included putting the equipment through as grueling a trial as could be devised; study how the varying road conditions affected each branch of the service; recruit new soldiers for the Army across the U.S.; demonstrate the need for good roads; and, unofficially, to thank the American people for their support during World War I, which ended just months before on Nov. 11, 1918.

Among the soldiers staffing that historic convoy were future Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower, future Allied Supreme Commander in World War II and 34th president of the United States.

On Monday, the convoy will continue west from South Bend across the north of the state, stopping in Merrillville for lunch before heading into Illinois.

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