History of Route 66

Photography by Scott Adams in Tucumcari, New Mexico

U.S. Route 66 (US 66 or Route 66), also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System. US 66 was established on November 11, 1926, with road signs erected the following year.[4] The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the United States, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica, California, near Los Angeles, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km).[5] It was recognized in popular culture by both the hit song “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” and the Route 66 television show in the 1960s.

US 66 served as a primary route for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and the road supported the economies of the communities through which it 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 in the face of the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System.

US 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, and it was officially removed from the United States Highway System in 1985,[2] after it had been replaced in its entirety by segments of the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been designated a National Scenic Byway of the name “Historic Route 66“, which is returning to some maps.[6][7] Several states have adopted significant bypassed sections of the former US 66 into the state road network as State Route 66. 1. Wikipedia

Get Your Kicks on Route 66, photography by Big Boy along Route 66, New Mexico

There are many debates around the globe on topics like; where did Route 66 begin, or what are the “best” roadside icons to see? No matter what, Route 66 is rich with history. Route 66 is the real American Road Trip. From small town to booming cities, the path of Route 66 is full of life. There is always the debates on the “best icons” to visit, but our thought is why not visit them all? That’s our focus. Bring back the “Great American Road Trip”, and make Rockin Route 66 your destination, but make Route 66 the journey…