Get your kicks on Route 66. Oh yes those immortal lyrics to a song that will never die. Whether it’s cruising in your gleaming hot rod, hearing a strong, well-tuned V8 power you down the road, or humming along to a sweet melody, it all makes for fond memories. Route 66 has it all.
The Early Years
Highway 66 was historically known as the “Main Street of America or the Will Rogers Highway.” During the 1920s many people called for a national highway system to handle burgeoning traffic. Everyone had or wanted a car; the automobile was showing up everywhere. Cyrus Avery, a savvy Oklahoma businessman, recognized an opportunity and began campaigning for a national highway system. Mr. Avery believed such a road should run through his state. Soon plans were implemented for a highway running from Chicago to Los Angeles. U.S. Highway legislation was signed into law during the 1920s. Heated discussion abounded on what to call the Chicago/Los Angeles corridor. Finally, Avery settled on “66” because he thought the double digit number sounded pleasant and was easy to remember. And right he was. At 2,451 miles long Highway 66 soon grabbed the imagination of the nation.
During the 1930s and throughout the 1950s traffic grew exponentially until the interstate highway system gradually began to replace it. Truckers liked Highway 66 because much of the road was flat, at least in until the western regions. During the early years Route 66 saw a phenomenal rise in the mom-and-pop businesses.
It didn’t take long before tourist saw service stations, family owned restaurants, motor courts, drive-in theaters and the ubiquitous hot rod. These were the golden years for the highway. Long before people were interested in why their blogs were not making any money.