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When planning and landscape design for the Blue Ridge Parkway began back in 1933,
folks were also seeing this magazine in print for the first time.
Miles of pages and pavement later, both the Our State readers and motorists
are still on the road to a love affair with North Carolina.

In August, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited several Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, with Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes and Virginia Senator Harry F. Byrd accompanying him. Although there’s no record of who suggested it, someone mentioned extending Skyline Drive (a scenic byway begun in 1931) southward to North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, thus connecting the two national parks with a scenic roadway.

In late-September that same year, the Asheville Citizen carried an article titled, “Byrd Outlines Park Road Plan.” This was the first mention in print of the future Blue Ridge Parkway.

By November, Ickes had approved a “park-to-park highway” for federal funding under the Public Works Administration and hired Stanley L. Abbot, a landscape architect with New York’s Westchester County, to oversee planning. Abbott, who would become known as the “father of the Parkway,” had aninnovative plan to create a chain of parks and recreation areas while preserving the stunning views and Appalachian culture.

After much debate about the routing, construction began in September 1935. Extensive building projects were carried out for two decades by a mix of private contractors, Works Progress Administration workers, CCC crews, and staff from the Emergency Relief Administration. By 1966, the Parkway was complete but for 7.7 rugged miles around Grandfather Mountain. With the addition of the revolutionary Linn Cove Viaduct, the entire route opened to the public in 1987

Today, it's the most visited national park in the country. Labeled “America’s Favorite Journey,“ the Blue Ridge Parkway is a classic roadway that carries as much North Carolina lineage as Our State. With 252 of the parkway's 469 miles passing through North Carolina, this shared history makes for beloved Tar Heel traditions, both on and off the road