Route 66 history




Route 66 history

In the summer of 1926 the road from Chicago Illinois to Los Angeles California was created to meet the demands of a nation undergoing great change and was given the numerical designation of 66, immediately becoming one of America's primary East-West roadways. While overseeing the national system, Chris Avery with the help of Frank Sheets, Chief Engineer of the Illinois Highway Department, and B.H. Piepmeier, Chief Engineer for the Missouri Highway Department, created this road of roads.
Starting at Chicago, historical gateway to the West, the road ran to St. Louis, Missouri, through Tulsa and Oklahoma City, on to Amarillo, Texas, through Tucumcari and Gallup, New Mexico, to Holbrook and Flagstaff, Arizona, and finally to Barstow and Los Angeles, California. This first description of what became Route 66, covered roughly 2,400, was submitted to the National board on October 30, 1925.?Planners had in mind to connect the main streets of urban and rural communities along the way giving them heretofore major access to such a principal thoroughfare. Its diagonal course linked hundreds of predominantly rural communities in Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas to Chicago thereby allowing farmers to transport grain and other produce for redistribution. This course taken by Route 66 was particularly significant to the trucking industry, which by 1930 had come to rival the railroad for pre-eminence in the American shipping industry.?Whereas other Highways, the Dixie and the Lincoln, were of a more linear design, Route 66 was different. Route 66 maintained a predominant liking to flat ground, heading South before going West, the benefit of a more user friendly climate relished by the truckers in particular.?John Steinbeck referred to it as the mother Road in his famous 1939 book, 'The Grapes of Wrath', its immortalisation guaranteed when the film version hit the world's screens. It was the road to opportunity and a better life and some 210,000 people made their way to California to escape the Dust Bowl.?It was declared as being 'continuously paved' in 1938, thousands of unemployed young males from all over the U.S. working as labourers in its construction from 1936.?Among the emigrants was a former pianist with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, an ex-marine from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania by the name of Bobby Troop. Such was his experience en-route to California that he penned the song, 'Get your kicks on Route 66', the song released by Nat King Cole in 1946.

With us all the way ....

          
 


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