Route 66 (Paperback)
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As early as 1916 - just eight years after Henry Ford's Model T revolutionized the automobile industry - Congress embarked on legislation that would link America's major cities by highway. But it wasn't until 1925 that the government began executing its plan for national highway construction. In summer 1926, Route 66 was born, connecting Chicago to Los Angeles and marking the country's first major east-west thoroughfare. By 1930, Route 66 was in important route for both truckers and travellers alike, and by 1939 it became known as 'The Mother Road' thanks to John Steinbeck's classic 'The Grapes of Wrath'. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of Americans travelled this great road - from those heading west during the Great Migration to escape to Dust Bowl and the Depression, to postwar families taking road trips across the country. By the 1970s, however, four-lane highways, expressways, and tollways had taken over, and Route 66 fell into disrepair. In this book, Route 66 authority David Knudson traces the fascinating story of The Mother Road, in a colorful guide that examines the origins and demise of the road, the roadside attractions and cottage industries it spawned, and the efforts to save and restore it.