By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Feb. 3 held a “kickoff” ceremony to celebrate the agency’s 50th anniversary.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx praised the department’s first secretary, Alan Boyd, for introducing “the strong culture of transportation safety that serves as the foundation for everything the U.S. Department of Transportation does even a half century later.”

Boyd, who attended the event, was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson. Lynda Johnson Robb, the president’s daughter, received a 50th anniversary plaque from Foxx, who thanked her for her father’s push to create the department.

Former secretaries James Burnley, Samuel Skinner, Rodney Slater, Norman Mineta and Mary Peters also attended and took part in a panel discussion for invited guests, including ARTBA President and CEO Pete Ruane. A video message from Foxx and former secretaries, including those in attendance, plus Ray LaHood, Andrew Card and Elizabeth Dole, was previewed at the event.

The agency said it would continue to spotlight its anniversary with upcoming events and historical information on its website.