An Historic Trip Down Route 66

August 10, 2009 at 6:38 am Leave a comment

indexThis week the Library will be hosting Russell Olsen, author of several books on U.S. Route 66 (Route 66 Lost & Found: Ruins and Relics Revisited, The Complete Route 66 Lost & Found). Mr. Olsen has been exploring and photographing Route 66 since 1995. After collecting postcards and archival photos of its landmarks in their heyday, he traveled the historic road recording what is there now. His presentation will take place in the Meeting Room of the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library, Wednesday, August 12, at 7:00 p.m. Please join us for what should be an interesting and unique program and learn how folks got their “kicks on Route 66.”

Route 66 certainly has a fascinating history. The numerical designation 66 was assigned to the Chicago-to-Los Angeles route back in 1926, just a few years after legislation for public highways was enacted. Unlike the typical linear highways of its time, it followed a diagonal course linking hundreds of rural communities across America. It served as the “Mother Road” during the depression carrying more than 200,000 people from Dust Bowl states to California. It also was instrumental in aiding the country’s mobilization of manpower during World War II.

If you are interested in learning more about historic Route 66, there are several websites you can explore:
National Historic Route 66 Federation
Historic Route 66: Where the Mother Road meets the Internet
Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program (National Park Service, Dept. of the Interior)
California Historic Route 66 Association
Route 66 Magazine

Of course, many Boomers such as myself can’t think about Route 66 without being reminded of the ultimate (TV) road show of the same name. Every week I would eagerly watch the CBS series to see Tod and Buz’s adventures along the highway. I thought those guys were the coolest, after all they drove a corvette! And the theme music (composed by Nelson Riddle) for the program was perfect. If you ever get a chance to catch the show, don’t pass it up – it’s a classic.

Do any of you have an interesting story about a trip across Route 66? Fond memories of the TV show? Please add a comment below and share with us!


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