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Measuring some 2, miles in its heyday, Route 66 stretched from Chicago , Illinois to Santa Monica, California , passing through eight states. According to a New York Times article about its decertification, most of Route 66 followed a path through the wilderness forged in by U. Navy Lieutenant Edward Beale at the head of a caravan of camels. Over the years, wagon trains and cattlemen eventually made way for trucks and passenger automobiles.


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  • The idea of building a highway along this route surfaced in Oklahoma in the mids as a way to link the state to cities like Chicago and Los Angeles. Highway Commissioner Cyrus S.

    Route 66 The Highway and Its People

    Avery touted it as a way of diverting traffic from Kansas City, Missouri and Denver. In , the highway earned its official designation as Route The diagonal course of Route 66 linked hundreds of mostly rural communities to the cities along its route, allowing farmers to more easily transport grain and other types of produce for distribution.

    The highway was also a lifeline for the long-distance trucking industry, which by was competing with the railroad for dominance in the shipping market.


    1. Route 66 decertified, highway signs removed.
    2. What's so special about Route 66?.
    3. Lebanon in the 1950s.

    Route 66 was the scene of a mass westward migration during the s, when more than , people traveled from the poverty-stricken Dust Bowl to California. Beginning in the s, the building of a massive system of interstate highways made older roads increasingly obsolete, and by , modern four-lane highways had bypassed nearly all sections of Route In October , Interstate bypassed the last original stretch of Route 66 at Williams, Arizona , and the following year the road was decertified.

    Endangered Site: Historic Route 66, U.S.A.

    According to the National Historic Route 66 Federation, drivers can still use 85 percent of the road, and Route 66 has become a destination for tourists from all over the world. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! The old route is now designated Historic Route Though it is no longer a main route across the country, Route 66 has retained its mystique in part due to the very same effective hype, hucksterism, and boosterism that animated it through its half-century heyday.

    It was a Route 66 sight, the marvelous Meramec Caverns, that gave the world the bumper sticker. And it was here on Route 66 that the great American driving vacation first flourished.

    What's so special about Route 66?

    The same commercial know-how and shameless self-promotion has helped the towns along the old route stay alive. Diners and motels play up their Route 66 connections, and many bona fide Route 66 landmarks are kept in business by nostalgic travelers intent on experiencing a taste of this endlessly endangered American experience. Route 66 passes through a marvelous cross-section of American scenes, from the cornfields of Illinois all the way to the golden sands and sunshine of Los Angeles, passing by such diverse environs as the Grand Canyon, the Native American communities of the desert Southwest, the small-town Midwest heartlands of Oklahoma and the Ozarks, and the city streets of St.

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