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 It’s a historical document of everyone who’s traveled on it - as the many contributions from Vox’s TRvision subscribers show, that keeps it going even as the interstates run alongside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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  • 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 Xoxo9 saatler 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 Xoxo9 saatler 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 RGün önce
  • "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac

    John SmithJohn Smith2 gün önce
  • Rte 66: I am the mother road Rte I-80: *“Am I a joke to you?”*

    Elmo Missing!!!Elmo Missing!!!2 gün önce
  • 11:27 This stands in Japan wich I believe is NOT suoth east asia.

    QuixQuix3 gün önce
  • As someone who has lived like than 500FT from the mother road in a small town just located west of OKC, ive never really thought about the sentimental value the road has to The world. My town even has a little roadside attraction, two flour mills one on each side with a large glowing sign reading "Yukons Best Flour" and it litterally is a state landmark. Ive been as far west on 66 as new Mexico visting The Cadillac Ranch, Big Texan Steak House. And as Far east as Uranus to visit the fudge packing plant. There are so many more hidden jems that I havent been to, when I get done with my contract and head home I'll probably drive the Mother Road.

    Holiday BreadHoliday Bread3 gün önce
  • Whats the name of the song at 5:16 ?

    SamySamy5 gün önce
  • "very very close apart" 17:04

    Allicia CAllicia C6 gün önce
  • Unfortunate name...

    Michael InglisMichael Inglis6 gün önce
  • I didn't even know Route 66 wasn't a thing anymore

    SuicideBunny6SuicideBunny66 gün önce
  • As someone from a city being forgotten this brings me hope, that one day they will see it how I do.

    aarblgaarblg6 gün önce
  • oh god a vox video? i left the room i didn't mean it go away vox you wil NOT have ad revenue

    KanosheKanoshe7 gün önce
  • Because of the pixar movie Cars (duh) but yeah _childhood days_

    Niks ErisNiks Eris9 gün önce
  • I crossed it in Arizona just two weeks ago. I was in Seligman. It’s awesome

    Bora GulBora Gul9 gün önce
  • good documentation …….

    Adonis Top of MenAdonis Top of Men10 gün önce
  • I couldn't understand the lady in Magnolia. What did she say was in the gas station?

    Noey TindolNoey Tindol12 gün önce
  • someone flip that 6 making it route 69

    Jonathan MadiJonathan Madi14 gün önce
  • My city o' Tulsa!

    GershwinDecoBeckGershwinDecoBeck14 gün önce
  • The Rolling Stones.

    مولانا أكبريمولانا أكبري14 gün önce
  • May the road rise up to meet your wheels

    Pedro ProvanPedro Provan14 gün önce
  • Amazing video! You guys should over America’s loneliest road in Route 50 in Nevada!

    Elias ChenElias Chen15 gün önce
  • What a great video

    Edo Ragadna P SaragihEdo Ragadna P Saragih15 gün önce
  • But taking route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica is slower than what Google maps recommends.

    IEJ7to1 *IEJ7654321*IEJ7to1 *IEJ7654321*16 gün önce
  • I am going there one day.

    aman deepaman deep16 gün önce
  • *Cars enters chat*

    Marshall Cohen CarterMarshall Cohen Carter16 gün önce
  • *causally drives near a cow* *_“hey”_*

    jesust_is _bigmacjesust_is _bigmac16 gün önce
  • explain why route 66 is almost the number 666 the devil created that road!?!?!?!?!?

    Terry HimesTerry Himes17 gün önce
  • Wouldn't it nice if they recommissioned Route 66 and out some money into refurbishing the highway

    lyle recolletlyle recollet17 gün önce
  • What about Route *666* ?

    ACDC FanACDC Fan17 gün önce
  • Pantura roads in indonesia almost has the same story.

    Lucas ReidLucas Reid18 gün önce
  • Yup, gonna watch Cars now

    Chiara Maria InocencioChiara Maria Inocencio18 gün önce
  • This is such an amazing documentary! Thank you, I truly appreciate this video. Please do more. I will be your biggest fan! Since my road trip to California in 2014 I have been so amazed by Route 66. I love it’s history, It reminds me of the true American Dream. I love Route 66, because it allows me to step back in time, dream, and wonder what it would’ve been like. Next to Heaven it gives me hope and excitement. I pray that before I leave this earth I will be able to travel the whole thing and explore the old American Dream. Thanks again. I look forward to more Route 66 videos by you.

    Lorinda StrouseLorinda Strouse18 gün önce
  • I remember Oklahoma Joe's. It was so racist in there it was hilarious.

    Wally & Tony !!!Wally & Tony !!!18 gün önce
  • Thank GOD for the new Highways.

    joseph Rapozajoseph Rapoza19 gün önce
  • It was the only road. That is the only reason it mattered. No different than Route 6 in Massachusetts to Cape Cod, it was the only tourist trap road. Thank you GOD for the new highways.

    joseph Rapozajoseph Rapoza19 gün önce
  • Roblox :Road 66 Middle in story a wolf that looks like an human End train. Sign up or login and go to road 66 to find part 2

    XxXedy Roblox!XxXedy Roblox!19 gün önce
  • Route 66 It's not about the destination, it's about the journey.

    Solomon AyalewSolomon Ayalew19 gün önce
  • take a shot everytime he says "66"

    Sam StephensSam Stephens19 gün önce
  • I wish we could petition to make route 66 an interstate highway

    BulletproofMercBulletproofMerc19 gün önce
  • This made me surprisingly emotional.

    Nathan JohnsonNathan Johnson20 gün önce
  • those dogs werent angry - look at their tails :) Also a sweet doggo at 12:17 !

    CaliadoCaliado20 gün önce
  • Every time he says "Amarilo" instead of "Amarillo" I get ear cancer

    Diego MorenoDiego Moreno20 gün önce
  • Who's gonna clean up after that site with the hunk of metal stuck in it?😆😆😆

    bastet469bastet46920 gün önce
  • Wait did that guy compare his trip to Oregon trail.

    imnotgay_butineedthemoneyimnotgay_butineedthemoney20 gün önce
    • Yes! He had a lot of crazy stuff happen on the way that I didn't include for time (got stranded due to weather for a couple days, etc). It sounded pretty epic.

      Phil EdwardsPhil Edwards19 gün önce
  • While I have had the opportunity to only travel a limited part of Route 66, my wife's family has had a long history of traveling on it. Starting with her parents moving from Missouri to California back during the WWII period and traveling on a regular basis back and forth on 66 to visit family in Missouri. In fact, her Mom died at the age of 73 after she and my wife's Dad drove back to Missouri to visit family. When her father died, one of his requests was to have some of his ashes scattered along Rt 66. [Dare I say] one of his sons carried out his wishes. So now if traveling Route 66 I can think about how he is with us along the way.

    Duncan PohlDuncan Pohl21 gün önce
  • Because CARS

    ChannelX24ChannelX2421 gün önce
  • Can any one please id the music @ 6:50 ?

    roger hazeldonroger hazeldon22 gün önce
  • where are my overwatch route 66 players

    Kobe LebronKobe Lebron22 gün önce
  • 0:37 Pasadena babyyyyyyyy

    Jaydon FaalJaydon Faal22 gün önce
  • *I aM sPeEd*

    Twice TrashTwice Trash22 gün önce
  • Such a boring drive for me.

    Simply KatherineSimply Katherine22 gün önce
  • this is me next road trip!

    finn bellfinn bell22 gün önce
  • Bruhh I did my Corsun Killer on Route 66!

    Bhavya Prakash GuptaBhavya Prakash Gupta22 gün önce
  • 1 Septa bus Route i picked is the 66! It's a trolleybus! And also the Route 59 and 75 are Trolleybuses but both are at previous MFL Station: 66: Frankford Transportation Center 59 & 75: Arrott Transportation Center *3: 33rd & Cecil B Moore* _I think_

    Minecraft BoyMinecraft Boy22 gün önce
  • I think it would be very cool to do a Lincoln Highway / Route 66 round trip

    Scott HarrisScott Harris23 gün önce
  • What is the beginning song?

    eder jair de jesus hernandez torreseder jair de jesus hernandez torres23 gün önce
  • I think there is something to be said about country that up until the 60s people wanted to travel and explore the country. Now everyone wants to travel to other countries. We have forgotten about the wonder of this great nation

    Conner BroekerConner Broeker23 gün önce
  • If you wanna drive through Route 66 in Oklahoma check out Red Rock Cafe, the circle barn, and Pops

    Conner BroekerConner Broeker23 gün önce
  • kachow kachow kachow kachow kachow kachow kachow kachow kachow kachow kachow kachow kachow

    ShapedSquareShapedSquare23 gün önce
  • K A C H O W

    Fishie FishFishie Fish23 gün önce
  • I remember reading all the books at borders in Schaumburg

    I HI H23 gün önce
  • It pronounced rOUT not rOOT

    Joe DirteJoe Dirte23 gün önce
    • Um, it's either.

      Jennifer LynJennifer Lyn21 gün önce
  • My grandpas cousin made the original get your kicks on Route 66 song

    Fireblade696 peFireblade696 pe23 gün önce
  • I basically live next to route 66

    NayzNayz24 gün önce
  • I live in chicago and in the suburban area theres always signs about route 66 and i always wondered what it was and this video answered my question

    Falecia GrandeFalecia Grande24 gün önce
  • Lightning McQueen was here...

    titan81titan8124 gün önce
  • 10:40 anyone else check their phone?

    meme24 gün önce
  • Love Route 66

    Christian TroxelChristian Troxel24 gün önce
  • Sammy Davis Jr. lost his eye on route 66... oh mamee!

    The PrahphetThe Prahphet24 gün önce
Why Route 66 became America’s most famous road