Route 66: 'Mother Road' was decommissioned 34 years ago this week

Route 66 -- the Mother Road -- stretches across six states from Illinois to California.
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Route 66 -- the Mother Road -- stretches across six states from Illinois to California.

Credit: Lars Schlageter/Pixabay

Credit: Lars Schlageter/Pixabay

Route 66 used to be the Mother Road of the United States.

Linking Chicago to Santa Monica, California, with a highway across the country. U.S. 66 came to life in 1926. The stretch of road helped small communities grow, created cities in rural areas and changed the way of life across America.

The highway stretched across eight states -- Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Then, the rise of turnpikes, interstates and four-lane highways led to more and more of the route being bypassed by travellers, until officials removed the signs and stopped maintaining Route 66 as a highway.

The death of one use of the highway led to a new life as a tourist icon and across the country small communities still survive due to tourists from across the world, visiting the United States to travel the route.

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