Route 66

Robert Huber

This month marks forty years since Elvis Presley died. But the legendary singer and actor found God long before that…on Route 66 near Winslow, to be exact. Scott Thybony has more in his latest Canyon Commentary. 


Justin Regan

Route 66 is deeply tied to American history. It brought Dust Bowl refugees to California, moved troops across the country during World War 2 and ushered in the family road trip. But eventually freeways dominated the landscape and that made things tough for Mother Road businesses. So the National Park Service stepped in with a grant program to help Route 66 communities survive. That program is set to expire soon and business owners are worried. KNAU’s Justin Regan has more.


Alex T. Paschal/The Telegraph via AP, file

A New Mexico congresswoman is adding her support for a bill aimed at saving federal preservation funding for Route 66.

AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan

They were just a bunch of old business records belonging to New Mexico’s oldest and largest sign-making shop, the last of the manufacturers from neon’s midcentury heyday.

In 1946, Nat King Cole helped put Route 66 on the map with his classic, "Get Your Kicks on Route 66." Ironically, Cole couldn’t visit most of the establishments in the cities he sang about because he was black. At the time, Jim Crow laws banned people of color from sleeping, eating, buying gas – even getting haircuts at many businesses across the country, including along the Mother Road. But there were some safe havens, like La Posada Hotel in Winslow, the White Rock Motel in Kingman, and DuBeau’s Motel Inn in Flagstaff.  These locations were listed in the Green Book, a travel guide for people of color, first published in the 1930s. Documentarian Candacy Taylor came across it, while writing a Route 66 travel guide. She believes the Green Book saved countless black lives. It’s now the focus of her new initiative, The Green Book Project.


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