John C. Mackie
Mackie was born in Toronto and immigrated to the United States from Canada in 1924 with his parents, who settled in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Southeastern High School in Detroit in 1938 and attended Lawrence Institute of Technology from 1938 until 1939. He received a B.S. in Engineering from Michigan State University in 1942 and an honorary LL.D. from the same school in 1965. He was employed on airplane engine design in Detroit, 1942 and served in the United States Army Air Corps, from 1942 to 1945. He served in the Pacific Theater until discharged as a first lieutenant.
Mackie was employed by an engineering firm in the Flint area from 1946 to 1952, and organized the Flint Surveying & Engineering Co. in 1952. He was Genesee County surveyor from 1952 until 1956 and was elected State Highway Commissioner of Michigan in 1957 and reelected in 1961 to a new four-year term. Mackie was quoted as being critical of the increasing popularity of compact cars, saying, "They may be socially desirable in some parts of the country, but I think they are a nuisance. If they really take hold—and I don't think they will—then it is inevitable that gas and weight taxes will have to go up, both for the federal and state government." He further claimed that they not only threatened tax revenues, but were also highway hazards. Mackie's criticism's were rebuked by, George W. Romney, then the president of American Motors Corporation and leading proponent of compact cars in the United States. Mackie also aggressively expanded the system of freeways and expressways in Michigan. During most of his administration, Michigan led the nation in construction of its Interstate Highway System and was the first to build a cross-state Interstate freeway (I-94) He was president of the American Association of State Highway Officials in 1963.
Mackie was elected as a Democrat from Michigan's 7th congressional district to the 89th United States Congress, serving from January 3, 1965 to January 3, 1967. He was known as one of the Michigan Five Fluke Freshmen and was defeated in 1966 by Donald W. Riegle, Jr., a Republican.
He was subsequently a business owner and a resident of Warrenton, Virginia. Mackie died on March 5, 2008 after an extended illness.
- "Honorary Degree Recipients, 1961–1971". Michigan State University. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
- "The Millionth Compact". Time. July 4, 1960. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
- "John C. Mackie". Transportation Hall of Honor. Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
- "Former State Highway Commissioner John Mackie Dies at 88". MLive. Booth Newspapers. Associated Press. March 7, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
- "Clare Welcome Center 634". Welcome Centers Information. Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
- United States Congress. "John C. Mackie (id: M000026)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- The Political Graveyard
- John Mackie, Michigan's last elected state highway commissioner, dies at age 88 - Michigan Department of Transportation, March 10, 2008.
|United States House of Representatives|
James G. O'Hara
|United States Representative for the 7th Congressional District of Michigan
| Succeeded by|
Donald Riegle, Jr.