Friday Fun Facts- Route 66

By the time you get up and read this, I will be on the road somewhere between the mountains of New Mexico and the sheer vastness of the state of Texas. Part of the way will be on the historic Route 66. Bet you didn’t know some of these facts!download

  1. It is 2448 miles long and has been described as “The Mother of All Road Trips”. (8 states and 3 times zones)
  2. John Steinbeck used it as the inspiration of his novel The Grapes of Wrath. He left Chicago in 1937 heading west. He called it the great “concrete path” and in the book it was referred to as the “Mother Road”.download (3)
  3. The Great Depression paved Route 66. From 1933 to 1938 thousands of male youths looking for work became members of the “Road Gangs” and paved all the remaining dirt sections.
  4. Route 66 won’t be on any modern maps! It was decommissioned from the original 1926 grid. The route was considered irrelevant and was replaced by the interstate highway system.
  5. “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” was sung by Nat King Cole. It almost wasn’t to be because when the composer arrived in LA to pitch it, the song was only half completed. Mr. Cole helped finish it and then recorded the song.download (4)
  6. It is also nicknamed “Will Rogers Highway”. The beloved writer spent many years travelling the Route and writing about the people along the way. When he died in a plane crash, radio stations from coast to coast on the road went silent for 30 minutes in honor of the man who wrote about them.
  7. The Kansas section is the shortest- only measuring 13 miles!
  8. The highest point is on the Continental Divide in Gallup, New Mexico at 7245 ft. high!!
  9. One of the most famous motel chains along the Route was The Wigwam Motels. The rooms were designed to look like an Indian teepee. There are only 2 left located in San Bernadino and the other in Holbrook, AZ.
  10. Clark Gable and Carol Lombard spent their honeymoon in Oatman, AZ along the Route.
  11. Phillips Petroleum chose a spot on the Route as the location for their first gas station in 1927. It’s still standing in McLean, Texas!download (1)
  12. The first EVER McDonalds opened on Route 66 in California in 1948.download (2)
  13. A WWII prisoner of war camp was set up 2 miles east of 66 in McLean, Texas. It operated from 1943-1945 and housed up to 3000 German prisoners.images (1)

3 Responses to Friday Fun Facts- Route 66

  1. jbrayweber says:

    Cool stuff, Stacey.

    Like

  2. Judith Russell-Tooth says:

    Great and very informative. Just loved it.

    Like

  3. I am so glad you liked it! I sure had fun doing the research.

    Like

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