|Route 66 crosses 8 states and 3 time zones, begins in Chicago and ends in L.A. (Santa Monica). In 1926 only 800 miles of Route 66 were paved. Only in 1937 Route 66 got paved end-to-end. Route 66 was also the title of a TV series playing from 1960 till 1964. In 1985 Route 66 was officially decommissioned, but for daily use it was replaced far earlier by the Interstates.
Recently the building of I-40 has changed Route 66 into America's Ghost Highway due to many stretches being by-passed. The Route 66 designation was officially dropped in 1985. Route 66 crosses 8 states and 3 time zones. In 1926 only 800 miles of Route 66 were paved. Only in 1937 did Route 66 become paved end-to-end.
US Route 66 originally ran from Chicago, Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California before ending at the beach at Santa Monica for a total distance of 2448 miles. In the early 1900's the route was known as the National Old Trails Road. In 1926 it became U.S. Highway 66, and within a decade was paved all the way from L.A. to Chicago.
The route was not straight, but intentionally linked many small towns in the Midwest, Plains and Southwest. With its essentially flat course and favorable weather, the highway became popular as a truck route, thus contributing to the growth of that industry.
After the end of the Second World War, US 66 became the road of choice for returning GIs, and later, their families during vacation season. This sharp rise in tourism in turn gave rise to a burgeoning trade in all manner of roadside attractions from teepee-shaped motels to frozen custard stands; Indian curio shops to reptile farms. Route 66 was also the title of a TV series playing from 1960 till 1964.
No other highway in the U.S. is as fabled as Route 66, immortalized in song, literature, and even a T.V. series. Heavy travel by dustbowl emigrants led John Steinbeck to label it as the Mother Road.