Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona,
U.S. Route 66 (US 66 or Route 66), also known as the Will Rogers Highway
and colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road,
was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System.
Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926, with road signs erected
the following year. The highway, which became one of the most famous
roads in America, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri,
Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at
Santa Monica, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km).
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.
Route 66 served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially
during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and it 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 in the face
of the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System.
Route 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime,
and it was officially removed from the United States Highway System
on June 27, 1985, 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.