June 25, 1959: Crowds gathered at Kneeland Street for the official opening of the downtown segment of the John F. Fitzgerald Expressway and the Southeast Expressway. Governor Foster Furcolo opened the new highway at exercises which began at 10 a.m. on the Central Artery near the tunnel entrance. The long-awaited access to the South Shore opened eight months ahead of schedule. Special equipment and machinery were used during the winter months to cope with elements that may have otherwise delayed construction.