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Route 66

U.S. Route 66 (US 66 or Route 66), also known as the Will Rogers Highway and colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System. US 66 was established on November 11, 1926, with road signs erected the following year. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in America, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). It was recognized in popular culture by both the hit song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" and the Route 66 television show in the 1960s.
Robert Griffin is no spray-painting vandal. Like thousands of other visitors to the "Cadillac Ranch" along Old U.S. Route 66 outside Amarillo, Texas, he is encouraged to bring a along a spray can to add a touch or two to the unusual public art installation. Thus the overall look remains the same over time, but the details change daily
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91 Media in collectionpage 1 of 1

Historic Route 66 - Burma Shave Signs

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Red signs bearing sage advice lined highways across America from the 1920s to 1961, and a set is preserved here for modern visitors. Lo... more

Historic Route 66 - Blue Skies and Open Spaces

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Wide open spaces are still common in this part of the West. Location: Location: Arizona (35.106° N 111.006° W) Status: Public domain. ... more

Historic Route 66 - Foraging in a Field of Flowers

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Mountains provide a stunning backdrop as horses graze for food in the bright yellow flowers. Location: Location: Arizona (35.222° N 111... more

Historic Route 66 - Walnut Canyon Cliff Dwellings

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Sandstone dwellings perched on the sides of cliffs stand testament to the passage of time. Location: Location: Walnut Canyon, Arizona (... more

Historic Route 66 - Route 66 in Albuquerque

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The traditional black-and-white Route 66 sign can be seen in downtown Albuquerque in many places. Location: Location: Albuquerque, New ... more

Historic Route 66 - Two Guns

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A sign is all that remains of a cowboy legend. Location: Location: Arizona (35.118° N 111.100° W) Status: Public domain. Digital Photo... more

Historic Route 66 - Rio Puerco Bridge

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: One of the longest steel truss spans in the country, the 250-foot Rio Puerco Bridge was built in 1933. Location: Location: New Mexico (... more

Historic Route 66 - KiMo Theater

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The restored, historic Kimo Theater can be seen on Historic Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Location: Location: New Mexico (35.085... more

Historic Route 66 - Inside the Coleman Theatre

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The ornate interior of the Coleman Theatre creates an scene of perfect symmetry and beauty. Location: Location: Main Street, Miami, Okl... more

Historic Route 66 - Home Cooking

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Mom and Pop stores still exist along Historic Route 66. Location: Location: Arizona (34.902° N 110.159° W) Status: Public domain. Phot... more

Historic Route 66 - Cruising Along Route 66 in Style

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A classic Harley Davidson motorcycle stands on display as snow covered peaks rise in the background. Location: Location: (35.039° N 110... more

Historic Route 66 - Route 66 Lightpost Sign

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Cut-metal roadsigns on Albuquerque lampposts declare the historic path of Route 66. Location: Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico (35.082... more

Historic Route 66 - Historic Route 66 Road Sign

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A sign for the legendary highway is pictured against the New Mexico sky. Location: Location: Along Historic Route 66, New Mexico (35.02... more

Historic Route 66 - Budville Trading Post in Budville, NM

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Literally the only game in town, the Budville Trading post is as rich in colorful history as Route 66. Location: Location: New Mexico (... more

Historic Route 66 - Twin Arrows

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Framed by a deep blue Arizona sky, two brightly colored telephone poles form the iconic twin arrows on Route 66. Location: Location: Co... more

Historic Route 66 - Route 66 Edmond Mural

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Murals such as this are located in communities all along Route 66. Location: Location: Oklahoma (35.653° N 97.471° W) Status: Public d... more

Historic Route 66 - Hubbell Trading Post

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Visitors can step into the past at the Hubbell Trading Post as they buy items that Indians once traded for centuries ago. Location: Loc... more

Historic Route 66 - Route 66 Streetlights

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Even streetlights celebrate the fame of Historic Route 66. Location: Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico (35.083° N 106.639° W) Status: ... more

Historic Route 66 - The Museum Club

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Neon and music is just another part of the classic charm of Route 66. Location: Location: Arizona (35.215° N 111.598° W) Status: Publi... more

Historic Route 66 - Home on the Range

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Antelope run freely in the spacious green fields. Location: Location: Arizona (34.968° N 110.097° W) Status: Public domain. Photo by M... more

Historic Route 66 - Santa Fe Sculpture

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A sculpture of a moose decorates the streets of Santa Fe. Location: Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico (35.672° N 105.952° W) Status: Publ... more

Historic Route 66 - Wupatki National Monument

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: In the sage brush lands of the Arizona desert, visitors can gaze upon this piece of the past. Location: Location: Wupatki National Monu... more

Historic Route 66 - Homolovi Ruins

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Pieces of the past sacred to the Hopi Indians and the Anasazi can be seen here. Location: Location: Arizona (35.020° N 110.692° W) Sta... more

Historic Route 66 - National Route 66 Museum and Old Town Museum Complex

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Located in Elk City, the National Route 66 Museum and the nearby Old Town Museum Complex offer a great opportunity to brush up on Route ... more

Historic Route 66 - Route 66 Lightpost Sign

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Cut-metal roadsigns on Albuquerque lampposts declare the historic path of Route 66. This one is of a four-rayed American Indian symbol. ... more

Historic Route 66 - Williams Depot

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: An old fashioned engine chugs into the Williams Depot. Location: Location: Arizona (35.251° N 112.190° W) Status: Public domain. Court... more

Historic Route 66 - Wildflowers and Aspens

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Vibrant purple flowers bloom at the trunk of an aspen tree. Location: Location: Arizona (35.248° N 111.856° W) Status: Public domain. ... more

Historic Route 66 - Rafting on the Colorado River

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Misty waters provide a refreshing spray for visitors who travel along the Colorado River. Location: Location: (34.686° N 114.462° W) S... more

Historic Route 66 - Winona Bridge

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: No longer accessible by car, visitors can enjoy the view as they walk up to this important part of Route 66's history. Location: Locati... more

Historic Route 66 - Route 66 Lightpost Sign

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Cut-metal roadsigns on Albuquerque lampposts declare the historic path of Route 66. Location: Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico (35.085... more

Historic Route 66 - 2nd Street in Albuquerque

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: There's plenty to do on 2nd Street in downtown Albuquerque. Look for great restaurants and hip clubs. Location: Location: Albuquerque, ... more

Historic Route 66 - Aerial of the Annual Route 66 Fun Run

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: From the skies, you can see a perfect view of the route below. Location: Location: Arizona (35.250° N 112.191° W) Status: Public domai... more

Historic Route 66 - KiMo Theater Lobby

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A theater patron admires the Kimo Theater lobby from the balcony. Location: Location: New Mexico (35.085° N 106.651° W) Status: Public... more

Historic Route 66 - Grand Canyon at Dusk

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Rich reds and blues stand out in the rocks of Grand Canyon National Park at dusk, as seen from the southern rim. Location: Location: Gr... more

Historic Route 66 - Famous Figures At The Polk-A-Dot Drive In

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Betty Boop line up outside the Polk-A-Dot Drive In, a nostalgic restaurant along Route 66. Locat... more

Historic Route 66 - Inside Lucille's Roadhouse

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Checkered countertops and red stools accentuate the 50s-era feel of Lucille's Roadhouse. Location: Location: Weatherford, Oklahoma (35.... more

Historic Route 66 - Downtown Albuquerque

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Colorful facades and street signs help to create a festive atmosphere in downtown Albuquerque. Location: Location: Albuquerque, New Mex... more

Historic Route 66 - Hanging High in the Sky

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Hanging above the Coronado forest provides visitors with an awe-inspiring view of the land spread out below. Location: Location: (35.10... more

Historic Route 66 - Native Americans in Sculpted Art

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The culture of Native Americans is revered in these works of sculpture depicting Native Americans in action. Location: Location: New Me... more

Historic Route 66 - The Tropics Sign

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Along Route 66, several Googie-style signs have been preserved. The bold strokes and Polynesian theme of the Tropics sign set it apart. ... more

Historic Route 66 - DeSoto Barbershop

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A full-size, brightly painted old DeSoto automobile rests on top of the front of the DeSoto Barbershop building against a backdrop of cl... more

Historic Route 66 - Buckingham Fountain

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: One of the world's most fabulous fountains serves as one of the first sites along the Illinois 66 byway corridor. The fountain, captured... more

Historic Route 66 - Miller Park Pavillion

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: This grand historic pavilion, designed by noted architect George H. Miller, serves as the centerpiece for one of the most interesting pa... more

Historic Route 66 - Snow Covered Peaks

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Visitors drive towards snowcapped mountains along the Route 66 in Arizona. Location: Location: Arizona (35.337° N 111.679° W) Status: ... more

Historic Route 66 - Indian Artifacts in the KiMo Theatre

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Buffalo skulls and Indian medallions adorn the walls of the KiMo Theatre on Historic Route 66 in downtown Albuquerque. Location: Locati... more

Historic Route 66 - South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Oranges and reds jump out of the rock in contrast to the light blue skies at Grand Canyon National Park. Location: Location: Grand Cany... more

Historic Route 66 - Petrified Forest

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A few broken logs remain scattered along the edges of the Petrified Forest. Location: Location: Arizona (35.066° N 109.779° W) Status:... more

Historic Route 66 - Streetside Route 66 Lamppost Signs

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Cut-metal roadsigns on Albuquerque lampposts declare the historic path of Route 66. In this streetscene, sidewalk street furniture waits... more

Historic Route 66 - Galaxy Diner

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The Galaxy Diner is one of the famous local restaurants in Flagstaff, Arizona. Its red and chrome sign, pictured here, stands out brilli... more

Historic Route 66 - Aztec Motel

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A neon sign points weary travelers to the Aztec Motel on Historic Route 66. Location: Location: New Mexico (35.079° N 106.600° W) Stat... more

Historic Route 66 - Retro Along the Route

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Along the route, visitors can see a sign from earlier times at the Wigwam Motel. Location: Location: Arizona (35.488° N 113.558° W) St... more

Historic Route 66 - Family at Cahokia Mounds

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: This group of byway visitors laugh as they climb the stairs to Cahokia Mounds, the remains of the most sophisticated prehistoric native ... more

Historic Route 66 - Santa Fe Sculptures

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Historic Route 66 passes through Santa Fe where visitors can see a sculpture of a Native American Brave on horseback. Location: Locatio... more

Historic Route 66 - Historic Route 66 Roadsign in Santa Fe

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A brown and white roadsign not only points the way to Route 66 in Santa Fe, but indicates which particular routing it is (pre-1937.) Lo... more

Historic Route 66 - The Kress Building on Central Ave

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The historic Kress Building still graces Central Avenue in Albuquerque. Location: Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico (35.083° N 106.635°... more

Historic Route 66 - San Felipe de Neri Church in Old Town, Albuquerque, NM

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A visitor poses in front of the Roman Catholic church in Old Town, just off Historic Route 66. Location: Location: New Mexico (35.093° ... more

Historic Route 66 - Route 66 Wall Mural

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Art murals such as this, which depict scenes that represent the rich history behind Route 66, can be found in many Route 66 communities.... more

Historic Route 66 - Route 66 Museum

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A pair of motorcycles parked in front of the Route 66 Museum adds an ideal image to this building that's dedicated the free spirit repre... more

Historic Route 66 - A Lineup of Classics

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Route 66 brings in travelers on all set of wheels. Location: Location: Arizona (35.028° N 110.708° W) Status: Public domain. Photo by ... more

Historic Route 66 - An Abandoned Motel on Route 66

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: An abandoned motel on Route 66 stands today to represent an era of mobility and change. Location: Location: New Mexico (35.071° N 107.5... more

Historic Route 66 - Whiting Brothers Motel and Grocery Sign

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Abandoned neon signs such as this are indicative of the 1950s-era that Route 66 embodies. Location: Location: New Mexico (35.530° N 108... more

Historic Route 66 - Bridgeport Pony Bridge

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: This bridge, which was featured in the movie, "The Grapes of Wrath," is 3,944.33 feet long and contains 38 pony trusses. Location: Loca... more

Historic Route 66 - Sunset Crater

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The rocky terrtain is all that remains of a six-million-year-old volcanic explosion. Location: Location: Arizona (35.365° N 111.503° W)... more

Historic Route 66 - Festival in Santa Fe Plaza

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: White canopies of a festival flank a memorial in the middle of a Santa Fe plaza. Location: Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico (35.650° N 10... more

Historic Route 66 - Historic Neon Indian Sign

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: An old, neon Indian sign and Route 66 roadsigns are seen on Historic Route 66 in downtown Albuquerque. Location: Location: New Mexico (... more

Historic Route 66 - Lowell Observatory

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Framed by sun dappled leaves and shadows, the Lowell Observatory provides scenic beauty and scientific wonder. Location: Location: Ariz... more

Historic Route 66 - An Aerial View of Monks Mound

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: This aerial view reveals the astonishingly large Monks Mound, located at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Location: Location: Collin... more

Historic Route 66 - Holding the Secrets of Route 66

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The simple brick facade hides a mulitude of items that are a must see along Route 66. Location: Location: (35.327° N 112.878° W) Statu... more

Historic Route 66 - Meteor Crater

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Roosting with the birds gives visitors the best view of Meteor Crater. Location: Location: Arizona (35.365° N 111.502° W) Status: Publ... more

Historic Route 66 - Street Vendors

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Street vendors on the Santa Fe Plaza keep cool under shaded tents while they sell their wares. Location: Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico... more

Historic Route 66 - Welcome to the Cozy Dog Drive In

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The cuddling hot dogs welcome Route 66 visitors to the Cozy Dog Drive In. Location: Location: Illinois Status: Public domain. Photo by... more

Historic Route 66 - Spider Rock

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: This mulit-colored rock is just one of the many in the painted deserts at Canyon de Chelly. Location: Location: Arizona (36.081° N 111.... more

Historic Route 66 - Rio Puerco Bridge

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: One of the longest steel truss spans in the country, the 250-foot Rio Puerco Bridge was built in 1933. Location: Location: New Mexico (... more

Historic Route 66 - Chicago at Night

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The glowing towers of skyscrapers highlight downtown Chicago against the sunset. Location: Location: Chicago, Illinois Status: Public ... more

Historic Route 66 - Albuquerque Downtown District Banner

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Some streetlights on Central Ave in Albuquerque not only celebrate Route 66 with innovative signs, but flaunt colorful banners declaring... more

Historic Route 66 - Winslow, AZ

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: In Winslow, visitors get the unique chance to become part of a song. Location: Location: Winslow, Arizona (35.026° N 110.697° W) Statu... more

Historic Route 66 - Cathedral Towers Behind Adobe Walls in Santa Fe

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A church steeple rises behind adobe walls in Santa Fe. Location: Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico (35.683° N 105.939° W) Status: Public ... more

Historic Route 66 - Route 66 Lightpost Signs

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Cut-metal roadsigns on Albuquerque lampposts declare the historic path of Route 66. Location: Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico (35.085... more

Historic Route 66 - History While You Eat

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The classic Snow Cap diner provides more than just food - it's a classic stop along this historic route. Location: Location: (35.024° N... more

Historic Route 66 - Round Barn

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Still standing after over 100 years, the round barn's picturesque form compliments a blue sky filled with billowy white clouds. Locatio... more

Historic Route 66 - West Colorado River

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Sloping cliffs and verdant green grass encloses the silty waters of the West Colorado River. Location: Location: Arizona (34.688° N 114... more

Historic Route 66 - Interior Decoration in the KiMo Theatre in Albuquerque, NM

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A visitor marvels at the Pueblo Deco style found in the KiMo Theatre. Location: Location: New Mexico (35.085° N 106.652° W) Status: Pu... more

Historic Route 66 - Oatman Burros

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Burros wait to carry more visitors along the trails. Location: Location: Arizona (35.026° N 114.384° W) Status: Public domain. Photo b... more

Historic Route 66 - Old Chain Of Rocks Bridge

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The V of the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge peaks in the Mississippi River, with a Gothic water tower emerging on the left. Location: Locati... more

Historic Route 66 - Giant Catsup Bottle

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: A giant catsup (ketchup) bottle water tower perches above tall, green trees as a road winds around the landmark. Location: Location: Co... more

Historic Route 66 - Twin Arrows

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Twins arrows grace the roadway, seemingly shot from the sky. Location: Location: Arizona (35.160° N 111.281° W) Status: Public domain.... more

Historic Route 66 - Chapel of the Ages

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Rough limestone walls with myraid formations rest in the bowels of the earth at Chapel of the Ages in Arizona. Location: Location: Alon... more

Historic Route 66 - Pueblo-style Architecture in Santa Fe

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: The adobe walls and flat roofs characteristic of pueblo-style architecture dominate the University of New Mexico campus. Location: Loca... more

Historic Route 66 - Classic Cars and a Touch of Charm

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Visitors can pull into this classic gas station at the old General Store along the road in Hackberry, Arizona where you never have to le... more

Historic Route 66 - Whiting Brother's Gas Station

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Though abandoned years ago due to fire damage, historic buildings such as Whiting Brothers are fought for to be protected in their curre... more

Historic Route 66 - Route 66: It's More than a Road; It's Her People

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Original Caption: Sitting in lawn chairs along a stretch of Arizona's Historic Route 66 All American Road with miles of blue skies and high desert scrub b... more

U.S. National Archives

The objects in this collection are from The U.S. National Archives. The National Archives (NARA) was established in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt. NARA keeps those Federal records that are judged to have continuing value—about 2 to 5 percent of those generated in any given year. There are approximately 10 billion pages of textual records; 12 million maps, charts, and architectural and engineering drawings; 25 million still photographs and graphics; 24 million aerial photographs; 300,000 reels of motion picture film; 400,000 video and sound recordings; and 133 terabytes of electronic data. All of these materials are preserved because they are important to the workings of Government, have long-term research worth, or provide information of value to citizens.

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