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What Exactly Is Route 66? How Long Is The Car Trip Across The United States That Has Inspired Songs – And Why Is Google Celebrating It?

google doodle route 66

The current Google Doodle honors America’s legendary Route 66, one of the world’s most famous driving routes and a must-do for road trip enthusiasts throughout the world.

The road, which runs between Chicago, Illinois, and Santa Monica, California, is famed for its retro eateries, strange hotels, unique art pieces, and magnificent landscape.

Today’s Google is an animated voyage along the route, featuring some of the trip’s most memorable sights and sounds.

But why is Google commemorating the road now, and what importance does it hold?

Everything you need to know about it is right here.

What is the significance of Google’s Route 66 commemoration?

The name “U.S. 66” was first proposed for the cross-country route 96 years ago today (30 April 2022).

Route 66 was one of the earliest roads in the United States Highway System, and it was an important route for people migrating west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when strong dust storms wreaked havoc on the ecosystem and agriculture of the American and Canadian prairies.

Highway 66 was built in 1926, at the beginning of widespread car ownership in the United States, and for the first time made cross-country travel accessible.

The highway also helped the economies of the communities it traveled through, and businesses along the route profited as the highway’s popularity expanded.

Those same people later battled to keep the roadway open in the face of the possibility of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System.

What is the length of Route 66?
The highway once stretched 2,448 miles from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, until ending at Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California.

Through song and television, American artists popularized US 66 and the experience of traveling along it, and the route became a part of popular culture.

Author John Steinbeck famously traveled along Route 66 in search of inspiration for his work The Grapes of Wrath, which features the Joad family, who have been evicted from their modest farm and are traveling from Oklahoma to California.

What is Route 66’s ‘Historic’ status?
In terms of geography, Route 66 no longer exists.

It was officially decommissioned from the United States Highway System in 1985 after being totally replaced by five new interstate routes.

Parts of Route 66 in Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been designated as National Scenic Byways, and the name “Historic Route 66” has been reinstated on some maps. Many original establishments from the historic highway’s heyday can still be found today.

Several states have also adopted significant bypassed sections of the former US 66 as State Route 66.

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