The first source that I looked at for this research paper was an article from Time Magazine titled “A Brief History of Route 66.” This first source is beneficial to my research because it gives a good overview of the history and impact of Route 66 without getting too detailed. It will allow me to choose what subtopics to pursue in the rest of my research. It is relatively short and does not go into detail about most of the components and background of Route 66, which does not make it as helpful as other sources I may find.
The overview includes important basic facts about Route 66, including that it is 2,448 miles long, and goes from Chicago to Los Angeles. It was decommissioned in 1980, after having been the “main artery of America” for over 60 years. John Woodruff and Cyrus Avery were advocates of a road going from Chicago to Los Angeles, and Cyrus Avery has been called the “Father of Route 66” for his role in its creation.
The article speaks about the literary and pop culture impacts of Route 66, including Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath,” and the multiple songs inspired by the road. It also mentions the history of the road as an escape route from Oklahoma during the dust bowl, which is something I want to research further. The quickly growing automobile industry also helped create Route 66, with 500,000 registered vehicles in 1910 to 10 million in 1920. These subtopics are all things I did not know much about before, and are all things I would like look at more in depth and include in my paper.