Why Route 66 became America’s most famous road

Route 66 is iconic. Why?
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Route 66 has gained a reputation as the United States of America’s most famous road. How did that happen, and why does it still matter?
In this episode of Vox Almanac, Vox’s Phil Edwards explores the history of the road and the textures of its present, from the road itself to the roadside attractions along the way, to the people who enjoy its diversions and those who help maintain them. It reveals a road that’s changed a lot over the decades but remains vital in unexpected ways.
When Cyrus Avery helped found Route 66 in the 1920s, he strived to create a road that would connect the Midwest to the West, and he resorted to promotional tricks and wheeling and dealing to get it done. The road quickly became a key route for migrants escaping the dust bowl and depression, forming its early reputation as “the Mother Road.”
That’s because it’s a road that’s more than a strip of concrete (or gravel, or dirt). It’s a historical document of everyone who’s traveled on it - as the many contributions from Vox’s TRvision subscribers show, that keeps it going even as the interstates run alongside it.
The number of Route 66 resources out there is huge, but we found these particularly helpful.
Check out Ron's site!
The Curt Teich Archives
You won't find essays here, but you will find a treasure trove of postcards that we used in this piece, including tons of Route 66 arcana.
Route 66: The Highway and Its People
I got to speak with Quinta Scott about her gorgeous photographs of Route 66, as well as the interviews she recorded with coauthor Susan Kelly. This book is a pleasure to look at and is packed full of information and interviews that you just can’t get any more.
The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership
If you’re curious about Route 66 preservation and revitalization, this group is one of the strongest interstate partnerships searching for new ways to promote and improve the road.
Our video about the Green Book, a critical resource for black Americans wanting to travel across the country on Route 66 and beyond in the mid-1900s. trvision.net/detail/video-b33PN2NB2Do.html
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  • It was an ok video but I've been disappointed by no mention at all of the "Angel of route 66" who wrote to lawmakers to revive small towns along route 66. He was responsible for turnung route 66 into historic route 66.

    solid_ salsasolid_ salsa3 gün önce
  • If you ever plan to motor west, Travel my way, take the highway that is best. Get your kicks on route sixty-six. It winds from Chicago to la, More than two thousand miles all the way. Get your kicks on route sixty-six. Now you go through Saint Louis Joplin, Missouri, And Oklahoma City is mighty pretty. You see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico, Flagstaff, Arizona. Don't forget Winona, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernandino. Won't you get hip to this timely tip When you make that California trip…

    Its Got A Face But No BodyIts Got A Face But No Body4 gün önce
  • Is this dubbed lol?

    SLVenderSLVender6 gün önce
  • Ok but an old lady whose hobby is dinosaurs is amazing

    Jayde BlackmarJayde Blackmar7 gün önce
  • Fairly nonconclusive

    Dante WilcoxDante Wilcox9 gün önce
  • this is fantastic great job vox

    Ding ding39Ding ding3912 gün önce
  • 14:08 I can see some of the iconography from Cars inspiration...

    The RevThe Rev16 gün önce
  • 11:28 that’s Japan, and Japan is not Southeast Asia, it’s northeast Asia

    박종서박종서23 gün önce
  • I'm moving to Vegas for my 30th Birthday. I'm so excited for my maiden voyage down that lovely road.

    g skittlezg skittlez27 gün önce
  • 🎶 *_Get your kicks on Route 66_* 🎶

    Tears DropsTears Drops27 gün önce
  • _*For a while now I've been struggling to get a new Birth Certificate,Passport so I can double up with all the stress of having a Job and my Licenses got robbed so many times by Vendors till I found this vendor who completely gave me a New Life .I now work and got all my documents thanks to Him,with overwhelming gratitude I've for this vendor I had to give this review of him. Thanks Sir Wickr ID: ericpratt268 Snap: eric_pratt268 Cell: +1(725) 333-9171 *_

    Curtis AshandonCurtis AshandonAylar önce
  • 9:50 Wow. I saw the movie 'Green Book'.

    Theodore-Ben SolomonTheodore-Ben SolomonAylar önce
  • It’s just a road

    Bro Bruhhh!Bro Bruhhh!Aylar önce
  • Disney made it famous, they could’ve chose ANY HECKING HIGHWAY yet they chose this

    Dat BoiDat BoiAylar önce
  • I live in flagstaff AZ so we drive on 66 every day

    Isa SchneiderIsa SchneiderAylar önce
  • Route 66 was famous for two reasons. 1-Martin Milner and 2-A 1960 Corvette.

    Old ManOld ManAylar önce
  • I live in Asia, dunno why I am very interested in Route 66. I never been to US.

    bkbkAylar önce
  • "That yellow house in Williams Arizona"... They say as I look across the street and see a yellow house by the safeway...in Williams arizona

    Han Solo /JFKHan Solo /JFKAylar önce
  • No mention of Kerouac? Parts of his On the Road take place on Route 66!

    lenpeylenpeyAylar önce
  • Satanic numerology. I'm not a superstitious of fundamentalistic (or satanistic) person, but I find this fact entertaining.

    Conner FieldsConner FieldsAylar önce
  • I'm here after the cars movie

    Anakin SkywalkerAnakin SkywalkerAylar önce
  • hats off to you for this homage.

    Dan LockeDan LockeAylar önce
  • Ah, the Big Texan, I often passed it but never went in unfortunately. Still, I always enjoyed staying in the area at the TA that was nearby

    Codi ServilleCodi ServilleAylar önce
  • KaChOw !

    Mateo LazaroMateo LazaroAylar önce
  • I live off of Route 66 🙂

    Natalie JimenezNatalie Jimenez2 aylar önce
  • Kachow

    Eve ThomasEve Thomas2 aylar önce
  • That's such a beautiful video thank you ❤

    Zero-RxdiiZero-Rxdii2 aylar önce
  • I live in Amarillo!!!

    Benjamin NewlonBenjamin Newlon2 aylar önce
  • Im not american, i thought road 66 were fiction back then. Hahaha

    Galih Naufal PramudithoGalih Naufal Pramuditho2 aylar önce
  • I can't believe why isn't there Cars referenceS everywhere. Like EVERYWHERE

    Atishay JainAtishay Jain2 aylar önce
  • Route -Execute Order- 66

    M LauM Lau2 aylar önce
  • 3:45 Today i learned i have a family connenction to Route 66.

    Tamera MillerTamera Miller3 aylar önce
  • The music in this video is amazing

    BZ EntBZ Ent3 aylar önce
  • Cars

    Nily SenerNily Sener3 aylar önce
  • Wait, you mean one of the worst maps ever invented in Overwatch for sniping?

    Maria SoaresMaria Soares3 aylar önce
  • what did the lady say? "i dont know what to tell you?"

    jetairliner spartanjetairliner spartan3 aylar önce
  • Two issues with this: Y'all forgot to reference that 60's show, Route 66, with Martin Milner! Also, no "Life Is A Highway" in the background? Overall, very informative video. Road tripping Route 66 has been on my bucket list since I was 16. One day, one day...

    Caffeinated NationCaffeinated Nation3 aylar önce
  • Thought I got an iMessage at 10:40

    Andrew PhillipsAndrew Phillips3 aylar önce
  • I would like to see a the run style race through route 66 it can help the economy of roadside towns and motels and also can be fun

    Mehmetşah SertMehmetşah Sert3 aylar önce
  • Oklahoma wants to rename a section of rt 66 to memorialize a president who won his seat by fear mongering, pushing racist and xenophobic wall and accepting help from a foreign power. Nice going Oklahoma... not. Why save it just to rename it after someone who fails at being a human?

    Jane AJane A3 aylar önce
  • one of the very few good things we have in new mexico (,:

    OnTheBenchOnTheBench3 aylar önce
  • It seems to me that white middle class American Nostalgia is what keeps Route 66 alive

    KCMC92KCMC923 aylar önce
  • I was born in Tucumcari NM. Not my proudest moment.

    Sir Aragon of EnidSir Aragon of Enid4 aylar önce
  • wow look at vox being all wholesome :)))

    furfiefurfie4 aylar önce
  • I remember driving past that Texas steak place. Feels weird

    Andaman ProductionAndaman Production4 aylar önce
  • ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ernesto JaimeErnesto Jaime4 aylar önce
  • Guys they made Route 66 from Cars into a real thing.

    Akhilesh SaravananAkhilesh Saravanan4 aylar önce
  • The pictures at 14:40 are so beautiful

    Matthias LanzoniMatthias Lanzoni4 aylar önce
  • I know the yellow house! It hosts a salon nowadays, in a corner of the parking lot of Safeway (the only grocer in Williams). Our family does a traditional trip to the Dairy Queen next door each time we camp up at Whitehorse Lake. I love Williams and I'm so glad to see such a tiny little landmark mentioned as a piece of someone's history

    Magpie MailerMagpie Mailer4 aylar önce
  • Good narrative. 💥👍

    RedPatRedPat4 aylar önce
  • ok.. fair enough

    welshdragon2008welshdragon20084 aylar önce
  • Creepy intro

    Oscar DeGusOscar DeGus4 aylar önce
  • The real reason why its popular. The time has come execute order 66

    Ante ŽarkoAnte Žarko4 aylar önce
  • 10:40 I really thought I got a text 😂

    Rowan KaravangelosRowan Karavangelos5 aylar önce
  • 3:00 Uhh... How much in metric, please?

    Agnes K.Agnes K.5 aylar önce
  • the fact that the movie cars was not mentioned in this video is a disgrace

    Jane ThomasJane Thomas5 aylar önce
  • Take note the Route 66 shield has 6 points on it Route 666.

    martyisabelievermartyisabeliever5 aylar önce
  • Tell a bunch of hipsters no one goes there, then you'll see a sea of Volvos going down it.

    Jim The EDC GuyJim The EDC Guy5 aylar önce
  • Get your kicks on Route 66.

    Nelson SwanbergNelson Swanberg5 aylar önce
  • and PCH might be the 2nd famous? I guess....

    lea winklea wink5 aylar önce
  • I came here to hear about Pixar’s Cars Anyone else?

    SwiPia SciSwiPia Sci5 aylar önce
  • But what about route 69?

    Moris SombreMoris Sombre5 aylar önce
  • It's an important piece of history. Neon signs, diners, drive-ins, motels, roadside attractions, the many streetcars and interurbans that followed it, etc

    Jason LearakosJason Learakos5 aylar önce
  • The bridge at 14:14, that goes in to Oro grande a small town in California that has one of the best pizza places I’ve ever been to and me and my freinds still go there all the time. My school is there as well so I cross it literally everyday. Strange to see something I see everyday on a video

    CACC BresnahanCACC Bresnahan5 aylar önce
  • If you ever.. plant to mayor west... Travel my way take the highway that’s the best. Get your kicks On Route 66!

    Amelie XoxoAmelie Xoxo5 aylar önce
  • If you ever.. plant to mayor west... Travel my way take the highway that’s the best. Get your kicks On Route 66!

    Amelie XoxoAmelie Xoxo5 aylar önce
  • a long forgotton section of the road lies outside of my town, it sees very little travel due to how roads went around it and still have a few miles of original road left falling apart. Sometimes travelers show up in town looking for how to get to it.

    Cory RCory R5 aylar önce
  • "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac

    John SmithJohn Smith5 aylar önce
  • Rte 66: I am the mother road Rte I-80: *“Am I a joke to you?”*

    Elmo Missing!!!Elmo Missing!!!5 aylar önce
  • 11:27 This stands in Japan wich I believe is NOT suoth east asia.

    QuixQuix5 aylar önce
Why Route 66 became America’s most famous road