From the National
Transportation Week office
In 1952, as the 1st Educational Chairman of the newly formed Women's Transportation Club of Houston, an educational program was set up in the amount of $500 which was designated to go to a scholarship program at the University of Houston for their degree course in transportation subjects. Guess what, no one applied.
The college reported they had not been able to interest anyone in becoming a truck driver or a policeman. That's when Charlotte and the Women's Transportation Club decided "we're in trouble, the University of Houston knew as much about the field of Transportation as the students... Nothing!"
Not wanting the project to fail, the Club made inquiries to see if a day, week or month was set aside to honor the Transportation Industry. Nothing was found so the Club decided to change that themselves and have a Houston observance of Transportation Week! The first Houston observance came about the week of March 29 to April 4, 1953.
Contacting other Texas towns, nine additional cities were set up for the observance of Texas Transportation Week in 1954. In collaboration with attorney Frank Norton of Dallas and the Texas Motor Transportation Association, the interested parties put together a 50 page booklet which addressed itself to the How's, Why's and Where's for Transportation Week. The book was sent out across Texas and to Clubs in other states where a similar interest was found.
At the 1954 Education Congress of Traffic Clubs International, the members from Texas gave evidence to the success story of two years experience in promoting the Transportation Industry. Charlotte Woods was elected to her first term as Director of TCI and sold TCI on the National Sponsorship of National Transportation Week. A National Chairman was appointed for 1955.
Immediate efforts were unsuccessful toward a set date to be proclaimed by the President of the United States. A great many people spent long hours in Washington and other areas trying to accomplish this end.
There is no telling how many "out of pocket dollars" were used by those dedicated TCI Officers, the Management of the Industry and various carriers themselves before they even began to approach success. Year after year a bill would get through the United States House of Representatives, the the U.S. Senate, for a Presidential Proclamation only to have it amended before passing... for that specific year only.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy declared a permanent date and from that day forth it will always be the week in May which contains the third Friday (National Defense Transportation Day), with the Maritime Day on the following Saturday.
To quote Charlotte Woods: "So, who is to say that a failure is the end of the line? I contend that failure is, and should be, the fire that goes on to reap success. Yes, success in the field of Educational Scholarships and of bringing the Transportation Industry into the forceful and immediate attention of the public who would surely perish without it."