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Official Program

Cutting the Ribbon

I-75's Opening Ceremonies and the Secret Song

On December 21, 1977, a group of invited guests and dignitaries included Georgia Governor Busbee and Federal Transportation Secretary Brock Adams, gathered at a ribbon stretched across I-75's northbound lanes, just north of Marietta's exit 265.

The I-75 Song started playing and the ribbon was "cut" as a brand new Ford CLT-9000 tractor-trailer rig slowly rolled forward to the music. President Carter, who could not attend, closed the ceremonies with a congratulatory message over the PA system. Before leaving, each attending dignitary was given a copy of the "Official program" which contained a 45 rpm phonograph record of the song.

Over the years, just about all copies of this song have been lost or the records have been damaged beyond repair. So how did I end up with a perfect set of the Official Program and song?

In 2004, I was contacted by one of my readers who, while clearing out his late-father's home in California, came across an old scrapbook. To his surprise he found it contained press clippings, photos and other memoribilia from the Opening ceremony. The reader's father was the driver of the Ford truck.

The reader very generously sent the material to me to share with my readers, after which it will be forwarded to the Federal Highways Administration Museum in DC, for permanent storage.

I've have not been able to track down the current owner of the song so cannot acquire its copyright. So for the time being, it must remain unheard by the millions of I-75 travelers who would enjoy it.

Below: Looking south at the scene of the northbound lane opening ceremony site earlier on Dec. 21, 1977. Note the old Marietta exit number 117 (now 265).


Scene of Opening Ceremony