Route 66 in the News

Why "Main Street of America"?

2010-06-24 12:40:24

Route 66 is synonymous with the title, Main Street of America.

The title aptly depicts this famous highway that has been portrayed worldwide in movies, songs, and novels for many years.

The accolade it has attained, the Main Street of America, was given to route 66 due in part to the famous distinction of this well-known highway as a classic stretch of road, flanked by well known restaurants, hotels, and service stations.

Route 66 is known as one of the original highways in the United States, linking the Midwest states, from Chicago, Illinois, all the way to Los Angeles, California. It's often referred to as the real and authentic America, since it reminds many people of the freedom of the open road, to many of its travelers.

This legendary route became even more well-known when it was used as the basis of the television series in the early 1960ís, suitably titled, Route 66. This television show features two men driving across America in their convertible, showcasing numerous encounters along the way.

Of course television shows are not the only reference to this famous main street in America. Many singers recorded tunes about this road, which even vaulted some of them into memorable hits. One such song is, Get Your Kicks On, by Bobby Troup, who initially recorded this popular tune in 1946, paving the way for several more contemporary artists to release new renditions of this classic song.

What better way to define route 66, then the Mother Road, as John Steinbeck referred to it, in his classic novel, The Grapes of Wrath. The frightening dust bowl, of the 1930ís, had thousands of people fleeing and migrating to California, via route 66, to bring them to the land of opportunity.

Route 66 became legendary as, the Main Street of America, mainly because the road is uniquely American, initially capturing the hearts of many Americans decades ago, as one of the first lifelines, so to speak, that stretched across America.

Route 66, also became a landmark, as one of the original roads to connect rural and urban communities, to have access to national travel, especially in the Midwest states. That ended the isolation and seclusion from other parts of America that many rural citizens were feeling at that time.

Tourism along route 66 roadside attractions increased dramatically, as vacationers traveled along this famous road on their way to California. All kinds of businesses cropped up, for example, souvenir shops, diners, motels, and gas stations. These businesses thrived on the ever growing traffic that emerged on this famous road of travelers.

Generations of Americans, who after the famous road first began in the 1920ís, found route 66 to be an exciting, mysterious, and adventurous highway to lead them through a multitude of memories.

Today, unfortunately, a large part of route 66 has been replaced by the interstate highway system, leaving only parts of route 66, to be called, the Historic Route 66.

Route 66, will always be fondly remembered as, Main Street of America, to millions of Americans who have traveled the scenic and historic route, throughout the years.

~Eva Perry,


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