U.S. Route 66, famously dubbed the “Mother Road” by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath, was officially decertified on June 27, 1985. In an age of interstates and speed, the long meandering route became obsolete, but its importance in cross-country travel and connection to automobile nostalgia have cemented its status as an American cultural icon.
Happy Trails to Route 66 Sat, Jun 29, 1985 – 3 · Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wisconsin) · Newspapers.com
The story of Route 66 begins in 1857, when it was first traversed by a man named Beale and his troupe of camels. It became an official U.S. road in 1926.
Route 66 began in 1857, became an American legend Sat, Jul 20, 1985 – Page 21 · Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, New Mexico) · Newspapers.com
No one could have predicted the staying power of the route’s history and imagery when the road was first mapped. It is admired and beloved in a way that perhaps no other road in the world can claim to the point of becoming a tourist attraction, and by the time decertification came around in the mid 1980s, memorials were in the works to commemorate the old highway’s significance.
Memorials planned for Route 66 Sat, Jun 29, 1985 – Page 24 · Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia) · Newspapers.com
Discarded Route 66 signs become collector’s item Thu, Sep 26, 1985 – Page 18 · The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, New Mexico) · Newspapers.com
A road that crosses from Illinois to California can’t help but be dotted with places of interest, as shown in the clipping below—a fun field trip for the Route 66 enthusiast!
“America’s main street” Route 66, and its attractions Sun, Nov 15, 1992 – 15 · The Herald-Palladium (Saint Joseph, Michigan) · Newspapers.com
Find more on the history of Route 66 with a search on Newspapers.com.
One thought on “This Week in History – Route 66 Decertified”
OT: Newspapers.com has recently digitized the New York Daily News. Researcher Fred Shapiro made an important discovery–the first citation of “Oscar” (Academy Award) on March 17, 1934. All because of Newspapers.com! Thank you!!…New York City is called the “Big Apple” because of columns in in New York Morning Telegraph in the 1920s. Can you get this non-copyright material digitized? It is also very important to NYC!
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