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"Highway 66 is the main migrant road. 66-- the long concrete path across the country, waving gently up and down on the map, from Mississippi to Bakersfield- over the red lands and the gray lands, twisting up into the mountains, crossing the Divide and down into the bright and terrible desert, and across the desert to the mountains again, and into the rich California valleys."
-Grapes of Wrath, page 118


With the Gold Rush in 1849, thousands of people sought routes to California. Railroads soon established routes to the West. Train engines were limited in the terrain, therefore railroad routes were chosen avoiding steep grades. With the arrival of the Model T in 1908 many Americans began to travel by car. The roads were rough for the automobiles to travel because the roads weren’t designed for automobiles they were designed for carriages. Due to this issue, Trail organizations were established. They were groups of people that promoted the roads where they lived. In the beginning the roads were not organized, everything overlapped and no two road maps were alike. Finally in 1921 the Federal Government passed the Federal Aid Road Act requiring states to include primary roads in a state highway system.

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Cyrus Avery wanted to improve the road conditions in his hometown in Oklahoma. Today, he is known as “The Father of Route 66.” He established the U.S highway system, and mapped the most important interstates in the nation. Cyrus was a strong supporter of the Route that went from Chicago to Los Angeles, a route that he wanted to pass through Oklahoma. On November 11, 1926 a bill was signed in Washington, which created the American Highway System. America then entered a new era. The Golden Road also known as Route 66 provided help to the farmers of the Dust Bowl era going west for a new

"Get Your Kicks on Route 66"

"Life is a Highway"