Route 66 Signs by Legend Lines
Route 66 also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. US 66 was established on November 11, 1926, with road signs erected the following year. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the United States, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). It was recognized in popular culture as the hit song "Get Your Kicks on Route 66”, the Route 66 television series, and John Steinbeck's classic American novel, The Grapes of Wrath, where the road "Highway 66" symbolized escape and loss. US 66 served as a primary route for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and the road supported the economies of the communities through which it passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway, and those same people later fought to keep the highway alive in the face of the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System. US 66 was officially removed from the United States Highway System in 1985 after it had been replaced in its entirety by segments of the Interstate Highway System.