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Route 66 #Route66onthe6th – “Myths on 66: Misinformation on the Mother Road”
January 6 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Yes, as usual, on the 6th at Sixty-Six minutes after 6! (7:06 PM Central Time USA).
In the January episode of Six Degrees of Route 66 (my new name for #Route66onthe6th) we take a look as some of the misinformation that has spread about the Mother Road. Sometimes it is exaggeration or embellishment of a story that is partially true; other times it is a complete mis-statement of facts. We will look into some of the more interesting fabrications and take a peek into how some of these stories and falsehoods came to be.
Some falsehoods come to us from authorities who should know better. The view above from Google Streetview shows a Historic Route 66 sign north of Springfield, Illinois, instructing travelers to turn right on Tainter Road in order to follow the 1926-1930 alignment of the highway. Carl Johnson, the late “road scholar” and researcher, uncovered evidence proving this “alignment” to be completely untrue. He informed the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) of the error more than fifteen years ago. They have yet to correct it, so people continue to take this wrong turn.
Some myths are a stew of true facts and over-simplifications, served up with a heaping helping of distortions. Above left we see a snapshot in time: January 17th, 1977, when IDOT workers in Chicago’s Grant Park were captured by a Chicago Sun-Times photographer as they pulled down the last Route 66 sign in Illinois. This leads to the current misconception that 1977 was the “last official year” of the highway in the Prairie State. In fact, US 66 was decertified in Illinois and Missouri as of the end of 1976. And the signs above right point travelers to the left, onto a road that ceased to be official Route 66 sometime in the 1960s–long before decertification.
Nolan Stolz, a classical music composer and Professor of Music is working on a symphony, Route 66 Suite. In his travels and research, he has learned that many places along the highway we call “Ghost Towns” are not really ghost towns at all, while many true ghost towns have been largely forgotten.
So I hope you can join me for the January 6th edition of Six Degrees of Route 66 – #Route66onthe6th, “Myths on 66: Misinformation on the Mother Road” This month it is once again FREE to register on Eventbrite:
See you on January 6, at Sixty-Six minutes after Six! (7:06 PM)