212: Get Your Kicks on Route 66

"Route66 sign". Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Route66_sign.jpg#/media/File:Route66_sign.jpg
A Historic Route 66 sign in New Mexico. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

On this date in 1926, the United States Numbered Highway System was established.

Here are some things you may not know about highways in the United States, including the legendary Route 66.

The U.S. Highway system was the main network of roads across the country before the Interstate Highway System. The numbering system is fairly simple. Odd numbered highways run north to south, starting with the smallest numbers on the East Coast, the location of Highway 1, to the West Coast, which is where U.S. 101 is located. Even numbered roads run east and west with the smallest numbered road (U.S. 2) across the north of the country to U.S. 98, which runs along the Gulf Coast between Mississippi and Florida.

Despite the name, the highways are maintained by state governments.

Route 66 was one of the original U.S. Routes running from Chicago to Santa Monica, California. It was a major route for people migrating west. It became well-known for its roadside attractions, including reptile farms, teepee-shaped hotels and some of the first fast food restaurants, including the first McDonald’s in San Bernardino, Calif.

In 1956, the beginning of the Interstate Highway system marked the beginning of the end of Route 66. Gradually, Interstates 55, 44 and 40 bypassed Route 66. It was decommissioned in 1985.

Our question, in the song “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66,” what Arizona town is the listener told not to forget?

We’ll have the answer right after this break.

Today is Veterans Day in the United States, It’s also Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in honor of the end of World War I in 1918. It’s unofficially National Ice Cream Sundae Day. It’s the birthday of General George Patton, writer Kurt Vonnegut and comedian Jonathan Winters.


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