Why Route 66 became America’s most famous road

Share
Embed
  • Published on Aug 16, 2019
  • Route 66 is iconic. Why?
    Help us make more ambitious videos by joining the Vox Video Lab. It brings you closer to our work and gets you exclusive perks, like livestream Q&As with all the Vox creators, a badge that levels up over time, and video extras bringing you closer to our work! Learn more at bit.ly/video-lab
    Route 66 has gained a reputation as the United States of America’s most famous road. How did that happen, and why does it still matter?
    In this episode of Vox Almanac, Vox’s Phil Edwards explores the history of the road and the textures of its present, from the road itself to the roadside attractions along the way, to the people who enjoy its diversions and those who help maintain them. It reveals a road that’s changed a lot over the decades but remains vital in unexpected ways.
    When Cyrus Avery helped found Route 66 in the 1920s, he strived to create a road that would connect the Midwest to the West, and he resorted to promotional tricks and wheeling and dealing to get it done. The road quickly became a key route for migrants escaping the dust bowl and depression, forming its early reputation as “the Mother Road.”
    That’s because it’s a road that’s more than a strip of concrete (or gravel, or dirt). It’s a historical document of everyone who’s traveled on it - as the many contributions from Vox’s RU-clip subscribers show, that keeps it going even as the interstates run alongside it.
    The number of Route 66 resources out there is huge, but we found these particularly helpful.
    Check out Ron's site!
    www.route66news.com/
    The Curt Teich Archives
    www.newberry.org/curt-teich-p...
    You won't find essays here, but you will find a treasure trove of postcards that we used in this piece, including tons of Route 66 arcana.
    Route 66: The Highway and Its People
    www.amazon.com/gp/product/080...
    I got to speak with Quinta Scott about her gorgeous photographs of Route 66, as well as the interviews she recorded with coauthor Susan Kelly. This book is a pleasure to look at and is packed full of information and interviews that you just can’t get any more.
    The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership
    route66roadahead.com/
    If you’re curious about Route 66 preservation and revitalization, this group is one of the strongest interstate partnerships searching for new ways to promote and improve the road.
    Our video about the Green Book, a critical resource for black Americans wanting to travel across the country on Route 66 and beyond in the mid-1900s. ru-clip.net/video/b33PN2NB2Do/video.html
    Subscribe to our channel! goo.gl/0bsAjO
    Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out www.vox.com.
    Watch our full video catalog: goo.gl/IZONyE
    Follow Vox on Facebook: goo.gl/U2g06o
    Or Twitter: goo.gl/XFrZ5H

Comments • 1 304

  • SwiPia Sci
    SwiPia Sci 7 hours ago

    I came here to hear about Pixar’s Cars
    Anyone else?

  • Moris Sombre
    Moris Sombre 23 hours ago +1

    But what about route 69?

  • Jason Learakos
    Jason Learakos Day ago +1

    It's an important piece of history. Neon signs, diners, drive-ins, motels, roadside attractions, the many streetcars and interurbans that followed it, etc

  • Jaysen Bresnahan

    The bridge at 14:14, that goes in to Oro grande a small town in California that has one of the best pizza places I’ve ever been to and me and my freinds still go there all the time. My school is there as well so I cross it literally everyday. Strange to see something I see everyday on a video

  • Amelie Xoxo
    Amelie Xoxo 4 days ago

    If you ever.. plant to mayor west...
    Travel my way take the highway that’s the best.
    Get your kicks
    On Route 66!

  • Amelie Xoxo
    Amelie Xoxo 4 days ago

    If you ever.. plant to mayor west...
    Travel my way take the highway that’s the best.
    Get your kicks
    On Route 66!

  • Cory R
    Cory R 4 days ago

    a long forgotton section of the road lies outside of my town, it sees very little travel due to how roads went around it and still have a few miles of original road left falling apart. Sometimes travelers show up in town looking for how to get to it.

  • John Smith
    John Smith 5 days ago

    "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac

  • Elmo Missing!!!
    Elmo Missing!!! 5 days ago

    Rte 66: I am the mother road
    Rte I-80: *“Am I a joke to you?”*

  • Quix
    Quix 7 days ago

    11:27 This stands in Japan wich I believe is NOT suoth east asia.

  • Holiday Bread
    Holiday Bread 7 days ago +1

    As someone who has lived like than 500FT from the mother road in a small town just located west of OKC, ive never really thought about the sentimental value the road has to The world. My town even has a little roadside attraction, two flour mills one on each side with a large glowing sign reading "Yukons Best Flour" and it litterally is a state landmark. Ive been as far west on 66 as new Mexico visting The Cadillac Ranch, Big Texan Steak House. And as Far east as Uranus to visit the fudge packing plant. There are so many more hidden jems that I havent been to, when I get done with my contract and head home I'll probably drive the Mother Road.

  • Samy
    Samy 8 days ago +1

    Whats the name of the song at 5:16 ?

  • Allicia C
    Allicia C 9 days ago

    "very very close apart" 17:04

  • Michael Inglis
    Michael Inglis 9 days ago

    Unfortunate name...

  • SuicideBunny6
    SuicideBunny6 10 days ago +1

    I didn't even know Route 66 wasn't a thing anymore

  • aarblg
    aarblg 10 days ago

    As someone from a city being forgotten this brings me hope, that one day they will see it how I do.

  • Kanoshe
    Kanoshe 11 days ago

    oh god a vox video? i left the room i didn't mean it go away vox you wil NOT have ad revenue

  • Niks Eris
    Niks Eris 13 days ago

    Because of the pixar movie Cars (duh) but yeah _childhood days_

  • Bora Gul
    Bora Gul 13 days ago

    I crossed it in Arizona just two weeks ago. I was in Seligman. It’s awesome

  • Adonis Top of Men
    Adonis Top of Men 13 days ago

    good documentation …….

  • Noey Tindol
    Noey Tindol 16 days ago

    I couldn't understand the lady in Magnolia. What did she say was in the gas station?

  • Jonathan Madi
    Jonathan Madi 18 days ago

    someone flip that 6 making it route 69

  • GershwinDecoBeck
    GershwinDecoBeck 18 days ago

    My city o' Tulsa!

  • مولانا أكبري

    The Rolling Stones.

  • Pedro Provan
    Pedro Provan 18 days ago

    May the road rise up to meet your wheels

  • Elias Chen
    Elias Chen 18 days ago

    Amazing video! You guys should over America’s loneliest road in Route 50 in Nevada!

  • Edo Ragadna P Saragih
    Edo Ragadna P Saragih 19 days ago

    What a great video

  • IEJ7to1 *IEJ7654321*
    IEJ7to1 *IEJ7654321* 19 days ago

    But taking route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica is slower than what Google maps recommends.

  • aman deep
    aman deep 19 days ago +1

    I am going there one day.

  • Marshall Cohen Carter
    Marshall Cohen Carter 20 days ago

    *Cars enters chat*

  • jesust_is _bigmac
    jesust_is _bigmac 20 days ago

    *causally drives near a cow*

    *_“hey”_*

  • Terry Himes
    Terry Himes 20 days ago

    explain why route 66 is almost the number 666 the devil created that road!?!?!?!?!?

  • lyle recollet
    lyle recollet 20 days ago

    Wouldn't it nice if they recommissioned Route 66 and out some money into refurbishing the highway

  • ACDC Fan
    ACDC Fan 21 day ago

    What about Route *666* ?

  • Lucas Reid
    Lucas Reid 22 days ago

    Pantura roads in indonesia almost has the same story.

  • Chiara Maria Inocencio

    Yup, gonna watch Cars now

  • Lorinda Strouse
    Lorinda Strouse 22 days ago

    This is such an amazing documentary! Thank you, I truly appreciate this video. Please do more. I will be your biggest fan! Since my road trip to California in 2014 I have been so amazed by Route 66. I love it’s history, It reminds me of the true American Dream. I love Route 66, because it allows me to step back in time, dream, and wonder what it would’ve been like. Next to Heaven it gives me hope and excitement. I pray that before I leave this earth I will be able to travel the whole thing and explore the old American Dream. Thanks again. I look forward to more Route 66 videos by you.

  • Wally & Tony !!!
    Wally & Tony !!! 22 days ago

    I remember Oklahoma Joe's. It was so racist in there it was hilarious.

  • joseph Rapoza
    joseph Rapoza 22 days ago

    Thank GOD for the new Highways.

  • joseph Rapoza
    joseph Rapoza 22 days ago

    It was the only road. That is the only reason it mattered. No different than Route 6 in Massachusetts to Cape Cod, it was the only tourist trap road. Thank you GOD for the new highways.

  • XxXedy RBLX and more!
    XxXedy RBLX and more! 22 days ago

    Roblox :Road 66
    Middle in story a wolf that looks like an human
    End train.
    Sign up or login and go to road 66 to find part 2

  • Solomon Ayalew
    Solomon Ayalew 22 days ago

    Route 66 It's not about the destination, it's about the journey.

  • Sam Stephens
    Sam Stephens 23 days ago

    take a shot everytime he says "66"

  • BulletproofMerc
    BulletproofMerc 23 days ago

    I wish we could petition to make route 66 an interstate highway

  • Nathan Johnson
    Nathan Johnson 23 days ago

    This made me surprisingly emotional.

  • Caliado
    Caliado 23 days ago

    those dogs werent angry - look at their tails :)
    Also a sweet doggo at 12:17 !

  • Diego Moreno
    Diego Moreno 24 days ago

    Every time he says "Amarilo" instead of "Amarillo" I get ear cancer

  • bastet469
    bastet469 24 days ago

    Who's gonna clean up after that site with the hunk of metal stuck in it?😆😆😆

  • imnotgay_butineedthemoney

    Wait did that guy compare his trip to Oregon trail.

    • Phil Edwards
      Phil Edwards 23 days ago

      Yes! He had a lot of crazy stuff happen on the way that I didn't include for time (got stranded due to weather for a couple days, etc). It sounded pretty epic.

  • Duncan Pohl
    Duncan Pohl 24 days ago

    While I have had the opportunity to only travel a limited part of Route 66, my wife's family has had a long history of traveling on it. Starting with her parents moving from Missouri to California back during the WWII period and traveling on a regular basis back and forth on 66 to visit family in Missouri. In fact, her Mom died at the age of 73 after she and my wife's Dad drove back to Missouri to visit family. When her father died, one of his requests was to have some of his ashes scattered along Rt 66. [Dare I say] one of his sons carried out his wishes. So now if traveling Route 66 I can think about how he is with us along the way.

  • ChannelX24
    ChannelX24 24 days ago

    Because CARS

  • roger hazeldon
    roger hazeldon 25 days ago

    Can any one please id the music @ 6:50 ?

  • Kobe Lebron
    Kobe Lebron 26 days ago

    where are my overwatch route 66 players

  • Jaydon Faal
    Jaydon Faal 26 days ago

    0:37 Pasadena babyyyyyyyy

  • Twice Trash
    Twice Trash 26 days ago

    *I aM sPeEd*

  • Simply Katherine
    Simply Katherine 26 days ago

    Such a boring drive for me.

  • finn bell
    finn bell 26 days ago

    this is me next road trip!

  • Bhavya Prakash Gupta
    Bhavya Prakash Gupta 26 days ago

    Bruhh I did my Corsun Killer on Route 66!

  • Minecraft Boy
    Minecraft Boy 26 days ago

    1 Septa bus Route i picked is the 66! It's a trolleybus!
    And also the Route 59 and 75 are Trolleybuses but both are at previous MFL Station:
    66: Frankford Transportation Center
    59 & 75: Arrott Transportation Center
    *3: 33rd & Cecil B Moore* _I think_

  • Scott Harris
    Scott Harris 26 days ago

    I think it would be very cool to do a Lincoln Highway / Route 66 round trip