FILE PHOTO: 85 Years Ago Route 66 Was Established
DAGGETT, CA - JUNE 16: (FILE PHOTO) On Friday, November 11, 2011 America's Route 66 was established across the country 85 years ago. Please refer to the following profile on Getty Images Archival for further imagery.
A symbol based on the original Route 66 road signs is seen painted on the highway on June 16, 2007 in Daggett, California. Route 66 opened in 1926 to become an icon of American motoring freedom. It stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles and became a western migration route for people looking for work during the great depression of the 1930s or to escape the Dust Bowl disaster. Later it offered vacation getaways and driving adventures until 1985 when it was decommissioned as a federal highway. Today the motels, gas stations, and roadside attractions along the "Mother Road" are disappearing at an alarming rate. Route 66 aficionados try to preserve some reminders of the by-gone era – restoring some buildings, collecting memorabilia, and erecting thousands of new signs that read "Route 66" - but most of the old landmarks are already in a state of decay or destroyed by vandals and neglect. Freeways, modern hotel chains, developer's projects, and even tourist attractions are blotting out the original reminders of the highway that inspired countless movies, books, and songs about life on the Western highway. Last week the National Trust for Historic Preservation included the old motels of Route 66 on its list of the 11 most endangered historic places. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)