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Not A Poem - Poem by Ardimus Caldwell

Ardimus Caldwell
March 12,2012
Mr. Maloan
American History

Route 66: A National Landmark, gone but not forgotten

During the 1950's America was birth in the age a modern world of music, culture, and economic relief, making it more efficient. Standard living was forever changed and made better. In cities, due to the construction of interstate highways, suburbs started to spring up. These were smaller neighborhoods in the county with better living space, a better community style. Schooling was better for children versus the schools in the city which became integrated with blacks and whites. Also the cost of living went up, meaning that everyone had work and was able to purchase and buy goods. Jobs moved from the city to along highways making cars more needed in society. Then with citizens moving to the county away, white flight, from stores and common needs, malls sprung up. In conclusion, in the following essay I'll be explaining the importance of the interstate highway system and one of the forgotten wonders, Route 66, and its contributions to the development of the modern highways today.
Route 66 has been around for years, since the early 1800's; it has played a huge role in American history and economy. Route 66 really had been started in 1927 by a successful businessman, Cyrus Avery, who is better known as "The Father of Route 66". An Oklahoma man, who said that he just wanted to improve his state, did more than just that. In charge of mapping and plotting points along the interstate road, he created one of the most modernized systems ever. Stretching through eight different states across America, Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA, Avery became one of the strongest supporters of the route. Also to that, the route was a business boom. Gas stations and local jobs rose everywhere along the route. Then strip malls, malls, hotels, dinners, night inns, restaurants, movie theaters all sprung up from the opening of Route 66. In conclusion, gaining a worthy title, "The Mother Road", seemed right to fit this national landmark in 1939 by John Steinbeck.
The route was the best interstate highway system of its time. Already joining eight states with one strip of road, it gave its contributions to American economy. People built all along side of route making smaller local economies around it. Sites were being brought and made which gave jobs and work to people willing, increasing jobs but only by a small amount. Also the route was a tourism attraction itself. Already making traveling easier, people were able to see natural wonders. Wonders such as, Meramec Caverns and Grand Canyon became vacation spots for families across America. Route 66 served as more than just an interstate highway but an economic relief for Americans.
Everything was looking up for route 66 but disaster hit hard, President Eisenhower. In 1956- 1970, The Federal Aid Highway Act finally passed, the mother road faced its first real problem that will later ease her off maps. Four line highways were built making every two line high a thing of the past. The construction of interstate 40 or I-40 had been its final blow. Built bypassing the road that once was route 66 had no longer been in use. By 1985 route 66 had barely been used, now barely printed on the maps of today's road maps.
Route 66 has been both a landmark and stepping stone to highways today. Connecting states with one strip of road, the accomplishments that route 66 has been and still is great. One of the 1950's connections left behind to see how America has grown from then. Without route 66 there's no telling what America would have used as transportation from one state to another.


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