On This Day: U.S. Route 66 Was Established

On this day in 1926, U.S. Route 66 was established. The idea to link a collection of smaller roadways in urban and rural areas was generated by John Woodruff from Springfield, Missouri, and Cyrus Avery in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This "Mother Road" as John Steinbeck named it in "The Grapes of Wrath," spanned across cities in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California which opened up the country for people to travel for jobs, trade, or to experience the open road for pleasure. View this collection of video clips to learn about this federal highway system and some of the towns through which it passed.

Birth of Route 66

Springfield, Missouri, is the known as the birthplace of Route 66. John Sellars, executive director of the History Museum on the Square, shared the story of how this historic highway received its name.