April 23

Lucius Clay

April 23, 1897 - Marietta

He was the architect of one of the most remarkable logistical feats in history — and one of the most humane.

Lucius Clay was born in Marietta in 1897, the son of U.S. Senator Alexander Stephens Clay. He graduated from West Point in 1918 and was assigned to the engineers. During World War II, Clay directed all military procurement under Eisenhower. After the war, Clay served as military governor of the American sector of occupied Berlin. When the Soviets blockaded all road and rail traffic into Berlin, Clay accomplished what the Soviets and others thought impossible — the Berlin Airlift: thousands of tons of food and supplies delivered by aircraft flying around the clock. Berlin survived.

Later, Clay was one of President Eisenhower’s chief advisors, and designed the interstate highway system.

The man who kept West Berlin open at the height of the Cold War and whose grave includes a memorial from the people of Berlin was born in Marietta on April 23, 1897, Today in Georgia History.