In November of 1926, U.S. 66 was added to the list of federal highways and a few months later Cyrus Avery of Tulsa, Oklahoma spearheaded creation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association. This quasi chamber of commerce for the Route 66 corridor hit the ground running with creation and development of a marketing campaign to brand that highway as the Main Street of America.
Route 66 may not be America’s most scenic or even its most historic highway. However, from its inception it has always had the best press and publicity. As a result U.S. 66, a highway that ceased to exist in 1985, is the most famous highway in America. It has become an international symbol of freedom, of the great American road trip, and of the romanticized American experience.
For communities along the highway corridor in the southwest, Route 66, and the National Old Trails Road that preceded it represented unprecedented opportunity for economic growth. Once remote desert locations such as the 7V Ranch near Hackberry, Arizona were transformed into thriving centers of commerce.
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