The Mother Road
U.S. Route 66 (also known as the Will Rogers Highway after the humorist, and colloquially known as the "Main Street of America" or the "Mother Road") was a highway in the U.S. Highway System. One of the original U.S. highways, Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926. However, road signs did not go up until the following year. The famous highway originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, before ending at Los Angeles, covering a total of 2,448 miles.
Route 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, changing its path and overall length. Many of the realignments gave travelers faster or safer routes, or detoured around city congestion. One realignment moved the western endpoint farther west from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica.
Route 66 was a major path of the migrants who went west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway, and those same people later fought to keep the highway alive even with the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System.
US 66 was officially removed from the United States Highway System on June 27, 1985, after it was decided the route was no longer relevant and had been replaced by the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been designated a National Scenic Byway of the name "Historic Route 66". It has begun to return to maps in this form. Some portions of the road in southern California have been redesignated "State Route 66", and others bear "Historic Route 66" signs and relevant historic information.
* Information from Wikipedia.
Route 66 In Oklahoma
Route 66 entered Oklahoma from Kansas in northeast Oklahoma north of Quapaw, Oklahoma, then traveled southwest through the state to Oklahoma City where it turned straight west to exit the state to Texas west of Texola, Oklahoma
From northeast to west Route 66 journeys through the communities of Quapaw, Commerce, Miami, Narcissa, Afton, Vinita, Chelsea, Bushyhead, Foyil, Sequoyah, Claremore, Catoosa, Tulsa, Sapulpa, Bristow, Depew, Stroud, Davenport, Chandler, Warwick, Wellston, Luther, Arcadia, Edmond, Oklahoma City, Warr Acres, Bethany, Yukon, Banner, El Reno, Calumet, Geary, Bridgeport, Hydro, Weatherford, Clinton, Foss, Elk City, Sayre, Hext, Erick, and Texola.
Driving Oklahoma Route 66
Today it's still possible to travel along most of Route 66. The route through the state closely follows I-40 and I-44. You'll even find references to "Historic Route 66" on most modern highway maps.
The Father of Route 66
Oklahoman Cyrus Stevens Avery (1871–1963) was known as the "Father of Route 66". He created the route while a member of the federal board appointed to create the Federal Highway System.
In 1927, Avery pushed for the creation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association to promote paving U.S. 66 and promote travel on the highway.
In 1997, the National Historic Route 66 Federation established a Cyrus Avery Award, which has been presented variously to individuals for outstanding creativity in depicting Route 66.
In 2004, the City of Tulsa renamed the Eleventh Street Bridge the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Memorial Bridge in his honor.
* Information from Wikipedia
The Will Rogers Highway
The original bronze plaque placed here to mark the dedication read:
Will Rogers Highway
Dedicated 1952 to Will Rogers
Humorist - World Traveler - Good Neighbor
This Main Street of America
Was the first road he traveled in a career that led him straight to the hearts of his countrymen.