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Route 66

Route 66

2448 miles long (about 4000 km)
Commissioned in 1926
Crosses 8 states and 3 time zones
· States: Illinois - Missouri - Kansas - Oklahoma - Texas - New Mexico - Arizona - California
· Cities: Chicago - St. Louis - Oklahoma City - Amarillo - Albuquerque - Flagstaff - Los Angeles - Santa Monica

These days you can only drive on parts because it has been replaced by interstate highways
Route 66 is also known as "The Mother Road", "The Main Street of America" and "The Bloody 66"
Decommissioned in 1985
The Beginning

The actual idea of a road connecting middle America to the coast came from John Woodruff of Springfield, Missouri, and Cyrus Avery of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In 1926, their dream became reality:
· Congress enacted legislation to establish a national highway.
The Formative Years

Farmers were able to transport grain and produce for redistribution in urban areas
It was given a diagonal course, which was significant to the trucking industry.
By 1930 truckers even rivalled and competed with railroad shipping.
John Steinbeck proclaimed route 66 as the " Mother Road " in his famous social novel " The Grapes of Wrath ".
· His novel in 1939, combined with the 1940 film recreation, served to immortalize Route 66 in the American consciousness.
The Depression Years and the War

In 1934 a dust storm destroyed it.
· Unemployed male youths worked as labourers to finish the route.

In 1938 Route 66 was finally paved.
During World War II, Route 66 was used to move troops, supplies and equipment, but the road was not built for this kind of traffic, so maintenance became an issue.
After World War II

Americans started travelling and taking vacations again to take in national parks and scenic wonders.
One of those travellers was Robert Troup, Jr., of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania:
· Ex-Marine captain and former pianist with the Tommy Dorsey Band
· Wrote a song that Nat King Cole released in 1946, " Get your kicks on Route 66 "

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