Route 66

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U.S. Route 66 (also known as the Will Rogers Highway after the humorist, and colloquially known as the "Main Street of America" or the "Mother Road") was a highway in the U.S. Highway System. One of the original U.S. highways, Route 66, US Highway 66, was established on November 11, 1926. However, road signs did not go up until the following year. The famous highway originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, before ending at Los Angeles, encompassing a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). It was recognized in popular culture by both a hit song (written by Bobby Troup and performed by the Nat King Cole Trio and The Rolling Stones, among others) and a television show in the 1950s and 1960s. More recently, U.S. Route 66 was referenced in the 2006 Disney/Pixar film Cars. Route 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, changing its path and overall length. Many of the realignments gave travelers faster or safer routes, or detoured around city congestion. One realignment moved the western endpoint further west from downtown Barstow to Santa Monica. Route 66 was a major path of the migrants who went west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway, and those same people later fought to keep the highway alive even with the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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