By Gene Doremus
Margie Palmer enlightened attendees at the Greater Winfield Historical Society’s July presentation on historic Route 66.
Her polished, eloquent speech gave us the history of this famous highway that runs from Chicago to Los Angeles. It was enormously popular in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, ushering in the golden age of the automobile.
After World War II, as families grew, so did the desire to travel; Route 66 gave them freedom to do so.
The route was conceived in 1924 and completed in the late 30’s. Margie passed out a map to everyone depicting the route and the major cities along the way.
It crossed eight states and three time zones. It had 2,448 miles of ever-changing vistas. John Steinbeck named it the Mother Road in his book Grapes of Wrath.
As time went on, other, safer, faster super-highways crossed the country. Interstate 40 ran alongside or on Route 66.
Even though Route 66 was decommissioned in 1984, 85% of it is drivable today. You can still get your kicks on Route 66!
Its importance to the story of America revived over the years. It’s now on the national register of historic places.
The National Park Service established the Route 66 corridor preservation program to help keep the memory of the many attractions that was a part of its uniqueness.
After Margie’s presentation, we went around the table…