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Why Route 66 became America’s most famous road

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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 It’s a historical document of everyone who’s traveled on it - as the many contributions from Vox’s TRvid subscribers show, that keeps it going even as the interstates run alongside it.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!
www.route66news.com/
The Curt Teich Archives
www.newberry.org/curt-teich-p...
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
www.amazon.com/gp/product/080...
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
route66roadahead.com/
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. trvid.com/video/video-b33PN2NB2Do.html
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16 Aug 2019

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Curtis Ashandon
Curtis Ashandon 22 saatler önce
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Theodore-Ben Solomon
9:50 Wow. I saw the movie 'Green Book'.
Bro Bruhhh!
Bro Bruhhh! 4 gün önce
It’s just a road
Dat Boi
Dat Boi 6 gün önce
Disney made it famous, they could’ve chose ANY HECKING HIGHWAY yet they chose this
Isa Schneider
Isa Schneider 11 gün önce
I live in flagstaff AZ so we drive on 66 every day
Old Man
Old Man 12 gün önce
Route 66 was famous for two reasons. 1-Martin Milner and 2-A 1960 Corvette.
bk
bk 15 gün önce
I live in Asia, dunno why I am very interested in Route 66. I never been to US.
Han Solo /JFK
Han Solo /JFK 15 gün önce
"That yellow house in Williams Arizona"... They say as I look across the street and see a yellow house by the safeway...in Williams arizona
lenpey
lenpey 15 gün önce
No mention of Kerouac? Parts of his On the Road take place on Route 66!
Conner Fields
Conner Fields 16 gün önce
Satanic numerology. I'm not a superstitious of fundamentalistic (or satanistic) person, but I find this fact entertaining.
Goku Black
Goku Black 16 gün önce
I'm here after the cars movie
Dan Locke
Dan Locke 17 gün önce
hats off to you for this homage.
Codi Serville
Codi Serville 22 gün önce
Ah, the Big Texan, I often passed it but never went in unfortunately. Still, I always enjoyed staying in the area at the TA that was nearby
Mateo Lazaro
Mateo Lazaro 27 gün önce
KaChOw !
Natalie Jimenez
Natalie Jimenez Aylar önce
I live off of Route 66 🙂
Eve Thomas
Eve Thomas Aylar önce
Kachow
Zero-Rxdii
Zero-Rxdii Aylar önce
That's such a beautiful video thank you ❤
Benjamin Newlon
Benjamin Newlon Aylar önce
I live in Amarillo!!!
Galih Naufal Pramuditho
Im not american, i thought road 66 were fiction back then. Hahaha
Atishay Jain
Atishay Jain Aylar önce
I can't believe why isn't there Cars referenceS everywhere. Like EVERYWHERE
M Lau
M Lau Aylar önce
Route -Execute Order- 66
Tamera Miller
Tamera Miller Aylar önce
3:45 Today i learned i have a family connenction to Route 66.
BZ Ent
BZ Ent Aylar önce
The music in this video is amazing
Nily Sener
Nily Sener Aylar önce
Cars
Maria Soares
Maria Soares Aylar önce
Wait, you mean one of the worst maps ever invented in Overwatch for sniping?
jetairliner spartan
jetairliner spartan 2 aylar önce
what did the lady say? "i dont know what to tell you?"
Caffeinated Nation
Caffeinated Nation 2 aylar önce
Two issues with this: Y'all forgot to reference that 60's show, Route 66, with Martin Milner! Also, no "Life Is A Highway" in the background? Overall, very informative video. Road tripping Route 66 has been on my bucket list since I was 16. One day, one day...
Andrew Phillips
Andrew Phillips 2 aylar önce
Thought I got an iMessage at 10:40
Mehmetşah Sert
Mehmetşah Sert 2 aylar önce
I would like to see a the run style race through route 66 it can help the economy of roadside towns and motels and also can be fun
Jane A
Jane A 2 aylar önce
Oklahoma wants to rename a section of rt 66 to memorialize a president who won his seat by fear mongering, pushing racist and xenophobic wall and accepting help from a foreign power. Nice going Oklahoma... not. Why save it just to rename it after someone who fails at being a human?
OnTheBench
OnTheBench 2 aylar önce
one of the very few good things we have in new mexico (,:
KCMC92
KCMC92 2 aylar önce
It seems to me that white middle class American Nostalgia is what keeps Route 66 alive
Aragon
Aragon 2 aylar önce
I was born in Tucumcari NM. Not my proudest moment.
furfie
furfie 3 aylar önce
wow look at vox being all wholesome :)))
Andaman Production
Andaman Production 3 aylar önce
I remember driving past that Texas steak place. Feels weird
Ernesto Jaime
Ernesto Jaime 3 aylar önce
ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!
Akhilesh Saravanan
Akhilesh Saravanan 3 aylar önce
Guys they made Route 66 from Cars into a real thing.
Matthias Lanzoni
Matthias Lanzoni 3 aylar önce
The pictures at 14:40 are so beautiful
Magpie Mailer
Magpie Mailer 3 aylar önce
I know the yellow house! It hosts a salon nowadays, in a corner of the parking lot of Safeway (the only grocer in Williams). Our family does a traditional trip to the Dairy Queen next door each time we camp up at Whitehorse Lake. I love Williams and I'm so glad to see such a tiny little landmark mentioned as a piece of someone's history
RedPat
RedPat 3 aylar önce
Good narrative. 💥👍
welshdragon2008
welshdragon2008 3 aylar önce
ok.. fair enough
Oscar DeGus
Oscar DeGus 3 aylar önce
Creepy intro
Ante Žarko
Ante Žarko 3 aylar önce
The real reason why its popular. The time has come execute order 66
Rowan Karavangelos
Rowan Karavangelos 3 aylar önce
10:40 I really thought I got a text 😂
Agnes K.
Agnes K. 3 aylar önce
3:00 Uhh... How much in metric, please?
Jane Thomas
Jane Thomas 4 aylar önce
the fact that the movie cars was not mentioned in this video is a disgrace
martyisabeliever
martyisabeliever 4 aylar önce
Take note the Route 66 shield has 6 points on it Route 666.
Jim The EDC Guy
Jim The EDC Guy 4 aylar önce
Tell a bunch of hipsters no one goes there, then you'll see a sea of Volvos going down it.
Nelson Swanberg
Nelson Swanberg 4 aylar önce
Get your kicks on Route 66.
lea wink
lea wink 4 aylar önce
and PCH might be the 2nd famous? I guess....
SwiPia Sci
SwiPia Sci 4 aylar önce
I came here to hear about Pixar’s Cars Anyone else?
Moris Sombre
Moris Sombre 4 aylar önce
But what about route 69?
Jason Learakos
Jason Learakos 4 aylar önce
It's an important piece of history. Neon signs, diners, drive-ins, motels, roadside attractions, the many streetcars and interurbans that followed it, etc
CACC Bresnahan
CACC Bresnahan 4 aylar önce
The bridge at 14:14, that goes in to Oro grande a small town in California that has one of the best pizza places I’ve ever been to and me and my freinds still go there all the time. My school is there as well so I cross it literally everyday. Strange to see something I see everyday on a video
Amelie Xoxo
Amelie Xoxo 4 aylar 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 Xoxo
Amelie Xoxo 4 aylar önce
If you ever.. plant to mayor west... Travel my way take the highway that’s the best. Get your kicks On Route 66!
Cory R
Cory R 4 aylar 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.
John Smith
John Smith 4 aylar önce
"On the Road" by Jack Kerouac
Elmo Missing!!!
Elmo Missing!!! 4 aylar önce
Rte 66: I am the mother road Rte I-80: *“Am I a joke to you?”*
Quix
Quix 4 aylar önce
11:27 This stands in Japan wich I believe is NOT suoth east asia.
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