Paving the Way Behind The Wheel Full Speed Ahead The Kicks of Route66 Mappin It  

Behind The Wheel

After the foundation of Route 66 in 1926 along with the lowered price of Ford's Model T, a flood of Americans took to the road. Two main explanations can account for this influx of road travelors: The Dust Bowl and Western Tourism. The Dust Bowl hit American farmers hard in 1935. This natural catastrophe forced farmers out of their homes and onto the highway, that is, Route 66. Before the 1930's and the Great Depression, however, Americans experienced a boom time. Although the silent movie and the radio constructed a national popular culture, these modern inventions could not connect the vast continent. Thus, with the combination of American's entrepreneurial attitude, consumer wants, and growing wonderlust, the tourist was born.

I wish I had a Model T What made John Steinbeck, in Grapes of Wrath, call Route 66 the "Road of Flight"? How did migrant farmers contribute to the myth-making of Route 66? Learn the reasons why these people left their homes and sought the golden land of California. Additionally, learn about the culture these exiled Americans brought with them.
Postcards: small Route 66 tokens What made Route 66 attractive to Americans across the continent? What kinds of myths did the West have preceding Route 66? Learn about the varioius regional sites along Route 66 in addition to the preconceived notions tourists had of the West.

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