Established in 1926, Route 66 ran all the way from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, a distance of 2,448 miles. Americans used it to Go West for several decades, including during the devastating Dust Bowl years, when so many “Okies” and others left their devastated home areas hoping to find relief in lush California.
It began its decline after the signing of the Interstate Highway Act by President Eisenhower in 1956. Sections of the old Mother Road were replaced by Interstates over the next thirty or so years, and by 1985 it was officially “decommissioned” as a US highway. In recent years sections have been revitalized as a “scenic route” labeled “Historic Route 66.”
Below is a potpourri of pics of a few famous landmark motels that dotted America’s Mainstreet in its heyday, some of them still in business along the Historic Route. As you can see, its heyday was also the heyday of Neon!