Modern Marvels

Season 12 Episode 43

Route 66

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Aug 24, 2005 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

Route 66
Route 66, encompassing eight states from Illinois to California and 2,400 miles, represented an American myth--that something better lay over the rainbow. Route 66 began in the early 20th century when a confluence of technologies--automotive, steel construction, and concrete paving--merged with population explosion, westward migration, and prosperity after WWI. The federal government responded with highway bills that converted existing roadways into an interstate called Route 66. Later, WWII highlighted the need for a strategic system similar to Germany's Autobahn--wider, safer, and more advanced. As federal and state governments worked on a superhighway, millions sought "their kicks on Route 66." By 1985, the abandoned roadway no longer "officially" existed, yet, it remains a destination for nostalgic travelers wishing to recapture a simpler, more adventurous era.moreless

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