New “History of Route 66” Available Online

Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway

The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership is excited to announce that a new, more accurate history of Route 66 has been published by Oxford University Press’ Research Encyclopedia on American History.

The work is the product of a collaboration between members of the Road Ahead’s Research and Education working group, Dr. Stephen Mandrogoc and Dr. David Dunaway of the University of New Mexico. Their analysis will not match other histories of Route 66, for their intent was to move beyond stereotypes to tell the story of groups often left out of this grand story.

According to Dunaway, “The world has long needed an accurate history of Route 66. Many books tell the story but not always with accuracy.”

The work spans the changing eras of America’s mother road, including the origins and early use of Route 66. The role of the historic freeway during the Depression and the Postwar Era leads to the popularity of the roadway as a family vacation destination in the middle of the 20th century. The article further documents the decommissioning of the legendary highway and its recent revival.

Classic photos and links to other works punctuate the story of the changing eras on this historic trail. Students and teachers around the world can access the free article at

Established in 2015, with the support of the National Park Service and the World Monuments’ Fund, The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership’s mission is to revitalize and sustain Route 66 as a national and international icon through partnerships focused on promotion, preservation, research and education, and economic development.

Road Ahead Partnership

Bill Thomas, Chairman
Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership

David Dunaway

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Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway