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Transcript of Route 66
The Will Rogers Highway,
America's Main Street,
and The Mother Road A new "automobile culture" soon
emerged in order to accommodate the
needs of the Route 66 travelers. New
businesses such as motels, gas
stations, road-side diners, and tourist
attractions sprung up throughout
the highway's small towns. John Steinbeck coined this nickname in his 1939 novel "The Grapes of Wrath." There was even a television program showing the adventures of two men traveling Route 66, doing good deeds to find themselves. Gas stations were another new presence on the American landscape. Initially, filling stations were just people's houses with one or two pumps out front. Now, travelers could buy gas,food and drinks, and even tune up their cars if they had the need. The road inspired many songs, but one stands out from the rest. It was rarely filmed on the actual Route 66. Bobby Troup Nat King Cole Chuck Berry (Who you're hearing) The Rolling Stones Depeche Mode Special thanks to Mom and Dad Hawkins! And even the
Cheetah Girls! Brad Paisley Brian Setzer At least 50 people
have covered the song. Here are just a few. John Mayer Located right on Route 66, the Best Western Trade Winds Motel in Clinton, Oklahoma was one Elvis Presley's favorite places to stay during travel. The first McDonald's Restaurant opened on Route 66 in San Bernardino, CA, in 1940. It doesn't serve burgers anymore, but you can still stop in. It is now the official McDonald's Route 66 Museum. It was on April 30, 1926, that the idea of a highway stretching from Chicago to LA was first introduced in Springfield, Missouri. Paving of the highway wasn't
completed until 1937. The highway crosses eight states and three different time zones. It is roughly 2,248 miles long! Route 66 was officially decommissioned in 1985, but it actually fell out of use long before then. 85% of Route 66 is still drivable today. Much of that is because it has been connected to other, newer highways. These include I-55, I-44, I-40, I-15, and I-10. Route 66 came to represent hope after World War I, a new life for those traveling to settle out west, and a new sense of American freedom for all those who toured the long highway. It is more difficult to drive west-to-east
because the majority of the signs are
on the opposite side of the road.
Route 66 was meant to be
driven east-to-west. Pixar's 2006 hit "Cars" was set in a fictional
town called "Radiator Springs," right on Route 66. Radiator Springs is a combination of many different real Route 66 towns. The movie shows that many Route 66 towns turned into ghost towns after the Interstate system opened. They used
to say "We didn't have
came to us." All of this
World War. No one really thought about how the new
highways would fundamentally change
the small communities that depended
on Route 66. This became known as "Death by Interstate." St Louis Joplin, Missouri Oklahoma City Amarillo Gallup, New Mexico Flagstaff, Arizona Don't forget Winona! Kingman San Bernardino In 1987, the people of Seligman
and Kingston, Arizona, started
a campaign to rejuvenate the
historic highway. Nostalgic travelers can now drive back through time and experience America's Main Street much like it was in the highway's heyday. (He wrote the song) (For the movie "Cars") Chicago LA It's not entirely a
sad ending, though! Thanks for watching! And remember that life is a highway so get your kicks on Route 66!