The Mother Road is the Mother Lode for American Culture

The Mother Road is the Mother Lode for American Culture

 ~ ZZ Troutski

There are millions of them; highways and byways, back roads, mountain passes – you name it, there are a gazillion routes in America to choose from for the avid motorcyclist, driver, biker and born-to-be traveler. But when it comes right down to it, no 220px-ROUTE_66_signmatter how many scenic roads exist, there will never be anything as historically significant or downright exciting as the Mother Road – Route 66.


Although called Will Rogers Highway by some, the name Route 66 is the one that all people recognize. This is literally the ‘Main Street of America,’ and has the most fascinating history of any highway or byway in the world.


Route 66 is one of the original highways established in the U.S. Highway System. It was back in November of 1926 that ‘66’ came to life, and almost immediately took its place as one of the most famous and infamous roads in America. Originally running from Chicago through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before heading into California and calling it a day, Route 66 ran a total of 2,448 miles.


Although many know Route 66 because of popular song and the T.V. series from the 1960s, the history goes much deeper. This was ‘the’ road for those who had to head west during the mighty Dust Bowl of the 1930s. This one road is responsible for establishing and maintaining the economic health and wealth of communities throughout this country where the road passed through. Prosperity for these unknown towns increased with the route’s popularity, which grew year after year.


But Route 66 helped the people as much as the people helped the road. After all, they were the ones who fought to keep Route 66 intact when the Interstate Highway System came into being. These are the people who paid to improve the road over its long lifetime, yet it was officially removed from the U.S. Highway System in 1985.


But the death of Route 66 has not occurred, no matter how many new roads have bypassed it along the way. In fact, there are sections of the original road that have gained the designation of National Scenic Byway, Historic Route 66 – which is making a comeback on American road maps.


When it comes to the official beginning of Route 66, Springfield Missouri is its true home. In fact, sections of the Mother Road can still be driven on in downtown Springfield.


The U.S. Highway 66 Association was built in order to promote travel along the highway. And it was in 1928 that this same group brought the publicity of Route 66 to the masses. A footrace called the Bunion Derby was going to be held where runners went from L.A. to NYC. The part of the path that they raced from L.A. to Chicago was on Route 66. During the Derby, Will Rogers actually met the runners at certain points just to say hello and give them support.


The popular ‘Saturday Evening Post’ ran an ad in 1932 telling people who were coming to the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles to take Route 66 as their choice of travel. The Association grew and grew over time and was hugely responsible for all the amazing publicity and commerce for businesses in each and every town that hosted Route 66.


The Mother Road also had a huge hand in helping people during the Depression. Small towns continued to grow because of the increasing traffic. Small business, restaurants, gas stations – everything was used and much-needed by the drivers on Route 66. And some of these towns even have small museums and restored businesses that can be stopped at and toured, honoring the Route 66 history.


And for horror fans or lovers of danger, the road did have a few sections that were referred to as “Bloody 66” because of the hairpin turns and dangerous curves that could be found throughout the Black Mountains.


From the National Register of Historic Places to teepee-style hotels to links with WWII and even the ‘secret tests’ and The Manhattan Project that occurred in New Mexico – Route 66 offers a thrilling history and is still the best road to take in order to observe the true American culture. Let’s ride!



Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale Co-Star in WWI Docudrama

  The Promise DVD Review by Kam Williams Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale Co-Star in WWI Docudrama It's Eastern Turkey in 1914, which is where we find druggist Mikael Boghosian (Oscar Isaac) plying his trade in his half-Armenian/half-Turkish village where Christians and Muslims get along swell. The ambitious, young apothecary would really … [Read More its Good for You...]


The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]


Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance … [Read More its Good for You...]


Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide

  Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide by Amy Lignor   Much like the political realm, there will always be debates and disagreements when it comes to the technological realm—especially when it comes to your health versus the almighty cellphone. Now, it is a fact that communication in the 21st century literally brought about a … [Read More its Good for You...]


Choosing Binoculars for the Ultimate 2017 Hunt

  Choosing Binoculars for the Ultimate 2017 Hunt Any hunter will tell you the most important choices to make when going for that ultimate successful hunt comes from the little things. Yes, the guns, the location for the hunt, the clothing that’s best for the winter and/or summer hunt – all of these things are on the hunter’s ‘must-buy’ list. … [Read More its Good for You...]


Esports on a Meteoric Rise in 2017

  Esports on a Meteoric Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   Okay…we all know that football is America’s favorite sport. Or…is it? NASCAR has a wide following. People still love to go to the ballpark in the lazy summer days to watch a Yankee hit a homerun. There are those who love to practically melt in the summer watching the Williams’ … [Read More its Good for You...]


Is Social Media Still Growing?

  Is Social Media Still Growing? by Amy Lignor   It was in 1999, Bill Gates wrote a book titled, “Business @ the Speed of Thought.” Within these pages, the man who became the computer world’s wizard made massively bold predictions that, at the time, sounded ridiculous and outrageous to those who read them. But when you look at how the … [Read More its Good for You...]


Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too!

  Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too! by Amy Lignor   Most children (and adults, too) will either roll their eyes or sigh when, while speaking about vacation locations, the word “learning” just happens to be mentioned. Yes, it is a fact that school trips take all of us during our younger years to everything from museums to … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible … [Read More its Good For You...]


Making Your Health “Resolute”

  Making Your Health “Resolute” by Amy Lignor   It is time for those New Year’s Resolutions to be made. We all know the ones most likely being placed on lists everywhere: stop smoking and lose weight. Why? Because these have always been the top two when it comes to goals, so that the next time the ball drops you feel amazing that the … [Read More its Good for You...]