Franklin Delano RooseveltFranklin D. Roosevelt visited Virginia's first Civilian Conservation Corps in the early thirties when they were building Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. FDR liked what he saw and soon approved the concept of constructing a scenic motor way between the Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The actual construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway didn't begin until late in 1935, although the plan for it had been in process for two years before that.