On this date in 1903, the first sanctioned speed trials took place at Ormond Beach, Florida. Back in those days, paved roads were almost unheard of, so Ormond's hard straightaway of packed sand proved the perfect venue for "speeding" (see the video below). Later, neighboring Daytona Beach would get all the fame, but Ormond remains speed's birthplace. As a stone monument in Ormond proudly proclaims:
"At a time when America had few paved roads, this hard beach was a racecourse for automobiles, motorcycles, and their pioneering builders. The first sanctioned meet here -- from March 26-28, 1903 -- featured time trials and races for a field including Alexander Winton's Bullet, Ransom E. Olds' Pirate, and Oscar Hedstrom's Indian motorcycle. The racers broke U.S. and world records, and Ormond Beach became a favorite venue for motor sports and automobile testing. This is the Birthplace of Speed."