"The Mother

Route 66
No road has more appeal than legendary Route 66. Route 66 is a uniquely American phenomenon that invites fans from all over the U.S. and the world to follow its path. Why? Because Route 66 is more than a strip of pavement, it is a state of mind. It is a fascinating mix of American history, nostalgia, adventure, and the open road.
Route 66 is 2,448 miles from Chicago to L.A. with unbeatable scenery, Mom-and-Pop diners, trading posts and outrageous road-side attractions. Route 66 is a journey to the heart of America: travelers who'll stop to help change a tire, waitresses in starched pink uniforms who serve an extra piece of pie when you're down to your last dollar, traveling salesmen with the latest jokes, and truck drivers who helped grateful hitchhikers.
It was the jukebox era. A time of malt shops, pinball machines and sleek Detroit Iron. A time when the first cross-country highway to link Chicago and Los Angeles gave birth to more songs, stores and media legends than any road before or since. However, despite all the wonderful vehicles and beautiful scenery, it was people who made Route 66 what it was.
Route 66 which began in 1926 as the highway from Chicago to Los Angeles was created by the demands of a rapidly changing America. John Steinbeck proclaimed Route 66 the "Mother Road." Steinbeck's classic 1939 novel served to immortalize Route 66 in the American consciousness.
The War Department needed improved highways for rapid mobilization during war time and to promote national defense during peace time. At the outset of American involvement in World War II, the War Department singled out the West as ideal for military training bases in part because of its geographic isolation. Route 66 helped to facilitate the single greatest war time manpower mobilization in the history of the nation that created thousands of civilian jobs.
The evolution of tourist facilities is shown in the roadside architecture along Route 66. Most Americans who drove Route 66 did not stay in hotels. They preferred the motel accommodations that emerged from automobile travel. Motels evolved from earlier features of the American roadside such as the auto camp and the tourist home.
Most gas stations evolved from the simplest "filling station" concept to a house with one or two service pumps in front and then became more elaborate, with service bays and tire outlets. In the early years of Route 66, service station prototypes were developed and then were adopted across the country.
By 1970, nearly all segments of original Route 66 were replaced by a modern four-lane highway. The outdated, poorly maintained vestiges of U.S. Highway 66 completely succumbed to the interstate system in October 1984 when the final section of the original road was replaced by Interstate 40 at Williams, Arizona.
Route 66 looks forward to its 75th Birthday in 2001 and its contribution to the nation must be evaluated as a social and cultural history of America. Route 66 shared unparalleled economic strife and global instability on the American scene, yet it stimulated the most comprehensive westward movement and economic growth in United States history.
Like the early, long-gone trails of the late 19th century, Route 66 helped to spirit a second and perhaps more permanent mass relocation of Americans. Route 66 symbolized the renewed spirit of optimism in the U.S. after economic catastrophe and global war. Often called, "The Main Street of America", it linked a remote and under-populated region with two vital 20th century cities - Chicago and Los Angeles.
You’ll find that traveling legendary Route 66 is all this: new experience, self-discovery, music, and a sense of being part of living history. So dust off that dream of seeing what's just around the next bend, gas up the old car and head on down the world's most enchanting highway..Route 66.
Now you can wear 2,448 miles of history on your wrist!
Route 66 watch Bobby Troup, world famous songwriter, composer, actor and former pianist with the Tommy Dorsey band, penned a lyrical road map of the legendary road in which the words, "Get Your Kicks On Route 66" became a catch phrase for countless motorists who moved back and forth between Chicago and the Pacific Coast. The popular recording was released in 1946 by Nat King Cole one week after Troup's arrival in Los Angeles....and now it's on a watch!
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