I shall be getting at least some of my kicks tonight on Route 66 as we head to Williams, Ariz., for our Grand Canyon Railway Adventure.
One of the original U.S. highways, Route 66 was established on Nov. 11, 1926 – with road signs erected the following year. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in America, originally ran 2,448 miles from Chicago, Illinois before ending in Los Angeles. It was popularized by both a hit song, (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66, and the 1960s Route 66 television show.Route 66 served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and it supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed.
Route 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, but was officially removed from the United States Highway System on June 27, 1985 after it was decided the route was no longer relevant and had been replaced by the Interstate Highway System. (Arizona saw its final stretch decommissioned in 1984 with the completion of I-40 just north of Williams.)
The first Route 66 association was founded in Arizona in 1987, and a section of Arizona's road has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.