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12 Speedy Facts about Historic Route 66

This historic US highway was built to link Chicago in the east to California in the West.  But what do you really know about this stretch of iconic tarmac?  Here’s 12 fun facts about Route 66 worth learning:

1. It’s been around for nearly 100 years!

Route 66 was opened on November 11, 1926, and was one of the original U.S. highways. It stretched from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California.

2. Does this highway have kids?

Route 66 is also known as the “Mother Road,” a nickname given to it by John Steinbeck in his novel “The Grapes of Wrath.”

3. It was a popular path west

Route 66 was a popular route for those traveling west during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

A stretch of Route 66, USA

4. Sections of it still survive

Route 66 was decommissioned in 1985 and replaced by the interstate highway system. However, parts of the original road still exist and can be driven on today.

5. The route follows many interesting spectacles

There are numerous landmarks and points of interest along Route 66, including the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, and the Blue Whale of Catoosa in Oklahoma.

6. It had its own TV show

The TV show “Route 66” aired from 1960-1964 and followed two young men as they traveled the country in a Corvette.

7. There are spaces you can study Route 66

There are several museums dedicated to Route 66, including the Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma and the Route 66 Mother Road Museum in Victorville, California.

8. Its got its own theme music

The song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66,” written by Bobby Troup, has become an anthem for the road and has been covered by numerous artists.

9. And there’s a movie about it too

Route 66 was featured in the Pixar movie “Cars,” in which the main character, a race car named Lightning McQueen, travels the road on his journey across the country.

10. Go cruising on Route 66

There are several annual events and festivals held in honor of Route 66, including the Route 66 International Festival in Springfield, Illinois and the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion in Ontario, California.

11. Route 66 traverses many states

Route 66 passes through eight states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

12. It has strong Presidential links

The iconic Route 66 shield logo was designed by Dwight D. Eisenhower, who later became the 34th President of the United States.

FAQs about Route 66

Further reading

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This page was last modified on July 26, 2023. Suggest an edit

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