In a new episode of Vox Almanac, correspondent Phil Edwards tells the history of the iconic U.S. highway Route 66, how it was founded, its association with the Great Depression and how it showed societal shortcomings of the time.
While driving along the route, Edwards visited people who live along the route, as well as restaurants and roadside attractions that are along the way. He also added into his report, viewer-submitted videos of their journeys along the famous and iconic route, all of whom find a nostalgic romance in that “Mother Road” from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California.
The road quickly became a key route for migrants escaping the dust bowl and depression, forming its early reputation as “the Mother Road.” That’s because it’s a road that’s more than a strip of concrete (or gravel, or dirt). It’s a historical document of everyone who’s traveled on it — as the many contributions from Vox’s YouTube subscribers show, that keeps it going even as the interstates run alongside it.