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100 Interesting and Fun Facts about U.S. Route 66, the Mother Road of America



100 Interesting and Fun Facts about U.S. Route 66 the Mother Road of America

Search engine giant Google is celebrating U.S. Route 66 or U.S. Highway 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America, or the Mother Road, with a video Doodle on April 30, 2022. Here are some interesting and fun facts about US Mother Road you should need to know.

Google Video Doodle for celebrating U.s. Route 66

Interesting and Fun Facts about U.S. Route 66

  1. Route 66 started in downtown Chicago, Illinois, and finished close to Santa Monica in California. Highway 66 crosses 8 states and 3-time regions. The states that the Mother Road runs through are: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
  2. It is generally accepted that from start to finish in 1926, Route 66 crossed 2,448 miles. Notwithstanding, as the route advanced over its 60 years of presence with new, further developed alignments, the mileage shifted over time.
  3. Route 66 was not America’s oldest or longest street, outperformed by cross-country roadways like U.S. Highway 40 and the Lincoln Highway. In any case, it was the shortest, year-round route between the Midwest and the Pacific Coast. Route 20 is the longest U.S. highway, spreading over 3,365 miles.
  4. In 1928, a member of the Route 66 Association named Charles C. Pyle led an aggressive promotional plan for the new highway: a race from Los Angeles to New York City.
  5. The vision for the highway had been one of modernity, complete with wide streets, minimal curves, and drivable conditions regardless of the climate. In any case, in 1929, just the Illinois and Kansas segments of Route 66 were completely paved.
  6. Route 66 became the first national highway to be totally paved, in 1938.
  7. The numerical designation of “U.S. Route 66” was allocated on April 30, 1926. Its allies initially looked for the Route 60 designation, and after resistance from a few states, Route 62. Yet, it at long last, officially became Route 66.
  8. Route 66 crosses eight states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
  9. In light of the amazing storm of a collapsed economy and unfortunate cultivating conditions, a great many frantic Oklahomans, Kansans, Texans, and New Mexicans took to Route 66 during the 1930s and put their focus on California to begin once again.
  10. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1939 novel “The Grapes of Wrath,” John Steinbeck composed a chapter about Dust Bowl migrants traveling Route 66, which he nicknamed “The Mother Road.” The highway is likewise once in a while called “The Will Rogers Highway.”
  11. Cyrus Avery was a Tulsa businessman who promoted the foundation of Route66 highway, acquiring him the nickname “Father of Route 66”. In 1927, while engaged with establishing the U.S. Highway 66 Association, he made the Route 66 byline “Main Street of America.”
  12. The section across San Bernardino County in California from Needles to Upland with 244 miles (393 km) is the longest segment within one county of the entire route and is 20 mi. longer than the distance between London and Liverpool in the UK.
  13. Route 66 goes through immeasurably various climates, from the mid-western plains and cornfields to dry, arid areas in the west, from close to the sea level in California to the tops along the Continental Divide. Accordingly, weather conditions are diverse, and in some cases erratic.
  14. All things considered, the best weather for the trip is in the spring, from March into early June. Similarly, the fall months of September, October, and November are typically lovely and offer great driving circumstances. Winter months in the north can produce ice and snowstorms, while summer in the desert region of the great Southwest can be hot.
  15. San Miguel Mission, otherwise called San Miguel Chapel, is a Spanish colonial mission church in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by Route 66. It was worked somewhere in the range of 1610 and 1626 and, with 400 years old, it is the oldest church in the United States.
  16. The song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” was made by songwriter Bobby Troup in 1946. It was first recorded by Nat King Cole and sung by different singers over the years including Chuck Berry, Perry Como, and the Rolling Stones. The song lyrics follow Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles.
  17. A popular TV show during the mid-1960s bore the street’s name: “Route 66”. Featuring George Maharis as Buz, and Martin Milner as Tod, the two youthful adventurers drove the street in their Corvette for 116 episodes.
  18. Notwithstanding the name of the series, most episodes didn’t occur on the historic street, yet in 25 different U.S. states. The show was filmed mostly on location and became known for its cinematography. The show ran from October 1960, through March 1964, and made a tremendous following.
  19. With the appearance of the Federal Interstate Highway System, U.S. Route 66 was gradually decommissioned, with the last segment, in Arizona, being eliminated from the Federal system by 1985.
  20. A renowned national museum, not even close to Route 66, has a display that incorporates an actual piece of Route 66 pavement. Named “America On the Move,” the piece of the Mother Road is at the Smithsonian’s National Museum in Washington D.C.
  21. The passage of the Federal Highway Act of 1956 was the start of the end for Route 66, and gradually segments were supplanted with new, more secure expressways. Route 66 was supplanted by five Interstates: I-55 from Chicago, I-44, I-40, I-15, and finally I-10 into Los Angeles.
  22. Today, just portions of the original Route 66 can be driven. Nonetheless, a lot of mileage in every one of the eight Route 66 states is accessible for touring. Most remaining segments are paved.
  23. A few segments stay much as they were initially built; different sections have been taken over by Interstate highways. It is assessed that up to 85% of the original route is driveable today.
  24. The animated film “Cars” produced in 2006 tells the story of Route 66 through characters Lightning McQueen and Sally and their adventures at Radiator Springs, a fictionalized representation of all Route 66 towns.
  25. There are a few Dead Man’s Curves on Route 66, these are some: one close to Carnuel in NM, one more between Mesita and Laguna in NM, and one more in Towanda, IL.
  26. On the corner of Route 66 and First Street in Tucumcari, New Mexico is a Texaco Station that is the only service station to have worked continuously through the Route 66 era to the present.
  27. Kansas has the shortest section of the Mother Road with just 13 miles. In any case, three historic Route 66 towns are situated on this short segment including Baxter Springs, Galena, and Riverton.
  28. As a publicity stunt in 1928, promoters of Route 66 held coast to a coast foot race that incorporated every one of the 2448 miles of the Mother Road to say the very least. The race kept right on going a long way beyond Chicago the entire way to New York City.
  29. In 1985 Route 66 was officially decommissioned as a federal highway. Notwithstanding, everyday use of the street had been gradually supplanted in earlier years by the Interstates. The street was decommissioned because of public demand for better transportation as the old street crumbled after World War II.
  30. Route 66 is otherwise called “Mother Road”, “The Main Street of America” and “The Will Rogers Highway”. 85% of the street is as yet drivable.
  31. The first McDonald’s restaurant was situated in San Bernardino, California 1945 on the Mother Road. The site is at present home to the McDonald’s Route 66 Museum.
  32. Quapaw, Oklahoma, the first town on the Mother Road in Oklahoma, is popular for “spook lights”, skipping bright balls of white fire that have been accounted for as far back as the 1700s.

US Route 66 Background and Construction Facts

  1. Oklahoman Cyrus Avery initially proposed the idea of a national highway in 1923. He added that it would be named US 60. States impacted affirmed until everybody settled with US Route 66.
  2. When the new government highway system was formally made, he required the foundation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association to pave the main road from end to end and upgrade travel down the roadway.
  3. “The Mother Road” was established on November 11, 1926, that extended 2,448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles.
  4. The highway building required a very long time to totally wrap up. Truth be told, Route 66 became the first highway totally paved around 12 years after its foundation.
  5. In any case, the later years of roadway utilization actually dealt with issues. Works were done to realign street portions to eliminate hazardous bends.
  6. Despite the risks, Route 66 became well known for leisure travel, immigration, and military routes during the Second World War.
  7. Major rerouting was additionally seen en route to taking care of significant tourist and economic spots. It was additionally made to ease long travel hours for riders traveling from one state to another and keep away from significant traffic congestion within large cities like St. Louis, Springfield, Joplin, Missouri; and Oklahoma City.
  8. In 1956, the Interstate Highway Act was signed by President Dwight Eisenhower. It was the beginning of the downfall for Route 66. A significant number of its highways were redesigned into the interstate highway system in later years.
  9. Beale’s Road, built-in 1857, was one of the country’s early multi-state streets. As well as taking into consideration the transportation of military goods and communication, it later formed a basis for the future Route 66.

Facts about the Road

  1. Route 66’s official length is 2,448 miles (3940km)
  2. The route beginning stage for Route 66 used to be an intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. This street was made one way in 1955 so the start sign is currently at the corner of Adams and Michigan Avenue.
  3. The midpoint lies in Adrian, Texas.
  4. The endpoint of the Route is the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. The vast majority think the end is Santa Monica Pier yet you can’t drive to that point – you’ll need to get out and walk!
  5. If you drove non stop from Chicago to LA it would require 32 hours to drive Route 66 (however you could miss a LOT of the original street)
  6. Route 66 goes through 8 states – Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
  7. The street goes through three time zones – Central, Mountain, and Pacific.
  8. Just 13 miles of the highway pass through the state of Kansas
  9. You can drive around 85% of the original street
  10. The route is presently decommissioned however Route 66 still exists
  11. The roadway changed a great deal and there isn’t one genuine route you can drive on. A few years saw enormous parts get rerouted to an alternate alignment
  12. You’ll have to keep an eye as you drive as the street isn’t signposted all the time. Expert Route 66 maps and guides can assist you with tracking down every one of the old alignments and keep you on the correct way.
  13. During World War II, Route 66 hosted a consistent stream of military traffic as troops and supplies were carried between bases.
  14. It by implication affected the war effort, as well, as a huge number of regular citizens tricked by the guarantee of good-paying work traveled west on Route 66 for jobs in defense plants.
  15. The state that boasts the longest stretch of drivable street in Oklahoma, which is obvious when you think about that as some of Route 66’s greatest supporters hailed from the Sooner state.

US Route 66 Recovery Facts

  1. In 1990, Route 66 associations were established to resuscitate the old glory of Route 66. The state of Missouri soon proclaimed Route 66 a “State Historic Route”.
  2. The first “Historic Route 66” marker was raised on Kearney Street at Glenstone Avenue in Springfield, Missouri.
  3. Different groups along the old street were established also. Then portions of the street passing through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona were assigned as National Scenic Byway of the name “Historic Route 66.”

Historical Route 66 facts

  1. It officially started in 1926
  2. It required various years for it to be fully paved – not till the mid-30s
  3. Route 66 passes through somewhere around 25 different Native American ancestral terrains.
  4. Route 66 crosses with the Trail of Tears in Missouri – the constrained removal of the Cherokee people from their land before the street was constructed.
  5. Route 66 was utilized a ton during the Dust Bowl relocation – when individuals moved from the Great Plains because of the dry season.
  6. Highway 66 was not an unspoiled street for black travelers. In 1930 close to half of the counties along the route were called Sundown towns and wouldn’t welcome black travelers when it got dark.
  7. The Green Book, a travel guide, would be utilized by Black individuals touring every part of the street to assist them with avoiding danger and have the option to remain at organizations that invited black people. Anyway, it was a perilous journey for them.
  8. Route 66 initially crossed the Mississippi River on the Chain of Rocks bridge in St Louis. This is currently only for walkers and cyclists.
  9. In WW2 the street was used by the military to move troops and supplies.
  10. The presentation of Interstate Highways during the 50s ultimately prompted the destruction of Route 66
  11. An early alignment saw Route 66 go through Santa Fe in New Mexico where it covered part of the Santa Fe Trail
  12. Route 66 was authoritatively decommissioned in 1985
  13. Route 66 has gone by many names since its 1926 inception, including “America’s Mainstreet,” yet one has stuck above the rest, civility of Steinbeck: “The Mother Road.”

Route 66 Ghost Town facts

  1. Whenever the streets and towns on Route 66 got bypassed by the interstate highways it likewise prompted numerous towns to become ghost towns and there are more than 15 along the street (contingent upon your definition of one)
  2. One ghost town on Route 66, Oatman AZ, was slaughtered in 1851 by a local tribe named after a family tribe. The daughter, Olive Oatman, was oppressed by the Native American tribe and released 4 years after the fact. A town is presently a tourist place of interest attempting to reawaken!
  3. For many, Route 66 was the physical appearance of freedom. Yet, for Black travelers hitting the road, trips were essentially more confounded. Most white-owned businesses along Route 66 wouldn’t serve Black individuals, and about half of the countries along the route were altogether white.
  1. Oatman AZ was likewise a Gold Rush town
  2. Jericho in Texas was part of the road in 1926 when it opened yet as it was unpaved numerous cars stalled out in crazy muddy conditions there. It was known as the Jericho Gap. The town was bypassed in 1930 when Route 66 was moved somewhat north and it transformed into a ghost town.

US Route 66 Geography facts

  1. Route 66 goes through many sorts of topography – desert, plains, forests, caves, and obviously many developed cities.
  2. Route 66 passes by the Great Continental Divide in New Mexico-on one side water streams to the Pacific and on the other to the Atlantic.
  3. It likewise passes directly through the Petrified Forest National Park and you can see an old part of the street complete with rusty car.

Quirky facts about Route 66

  1. The street has a few nicknames, for example, ‘The Mother Road’, ‘Will Rogers Highway, and the ‘Main Street of America’
  2. You might remain in a portion of these quirky attractions like the giant wigwam inns in Arizona and California.
  3. Amazing side-of-the-road attractions sprung up and down the route to captivate drivers to stop in the area. There are giant whales, inclining water towers, and oversized recliners to give some examples.
  4. One stretch of the street could really sing – in 2014 a part of the route after Tijeras, NM had a thunder strip that would resound and permit America the Beautiful to be heard assuming you were going the right speed. It’s since been repaved yet some say you can in any case hear it.
  5. The Meramec Caves in Missouri are a popular stop-off while on the road. There is a story that a Wild West outlaw, Jesse James, used the caves to refuge. This might have been explained to tempt individuals to visit the caverns however as no proof was ever found!

US Route 66 Pop Culture facts

  1. Glenrio – one of the many ghost towns along Route 66 was really one of the filming locations for the Grapes of Wrath in 1940
  2. The Disney film Cars portrays the history of Route 66 in a child-friendly way with a significant number of the film locations being conspicuous, for example, the U-drop in working in Shamrock which is Ramone’s garage.
  3. The street is part of some songs with the most popular being (Get your kicks on) Route 66 which was composed by Bobby Troupe in 1946 and recorded by the King Cole Trio (sung by Nat King Cole) again in 1946.
  4. The song ‘Relax’ by the Eagles references a town along Route 66 called Winslow, Arizona. The song has helped placed the town back on the map and get travelers after it was bypassed by I-40.
  5. There is a 60s television series called ‘Route 66’ which followed two men driving through and the experiences that they ran over. Tragically very little was filmed anywhere close to the US Route 66!
  6. The popular TV show Route 66 (1960-1964) and K-Marts line of jean brand Route 66 act as a reminder of the old street’s brilliant past.
  7. During the Great Depression, more than 200,000 individuals are believed to have looked for their fortunes in the Golden State. Not all that sparkled was gold, notwithstanding: Some researchers estimate that under 8% of those getting away from the Dust Bowl stayed in California.
  8. The highway even had its own self-titled TV show, which ran from 1960-to 1964 and featured Tod Stiles and Buz Murdock as characters traveling across America behind the wheel of a convertible Corvette. Icons like Robert Redford and William Shatner additionally showed up.
  9. One of Route 66’s most popular nicknames, the “Will Rogers Highway,” honors the legendary comedian, actor, and political commentator born in Cherokee Territory (presently part of Oklahoma) in 1879.
  10. Lovingly referred to as “Oklahoma’s favorite son,” Rogers set out on Route 66 as a young fellow to seek after his career in Hollywood. Afterward, he became a promoter of the street and wrote about it in some of his many syndicated columns.
  11. Soon after Roger died in a plane accident in 1935, a legislative goal was acquainted with the name of the highway in his honor, yet wasn’t finalized.
  12. Years after the fact, in 1952, the U.S. Highway 66 Association rededicated the highway informally in his name. Today, you can in any case recognize markers along the highway in his honor from Oklahoma to California.
  13. Nowadays, Route 66 is more than a street: It’s additionally a state park! However it’s named for the notorious roadway, and the park has a lot to do outside your car.
  14. The U.S. government might have deserted Route 66, yet small groups of devoted residents have cropped up in every one of the eight Route 66 states, joined by their love for the street and its history.
  15. On April 30, 2022, Google featured a Doodle on its homepage for celebrating Route 66 to honor the day in 1926 when the name “U.S. 66” was first proposed for the cross-country route.

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