SPRINGFIELD, MO – In tonight’s dose of good news… The Route 66 festival in Springfield may have been rained out yesterday, but fans still rolled into town for today’s festivities.
Photo-Journalist Tim Liemkuehler was able to find out what makes the history of this highway so special.
“What’s cool? History. Family. Nostalgia. Preservation. You just have to get the feel for Route 66 and all of the people that come to this today, these are the people that you want to meet. These are the people that you want to get educated.” Says Melba The Mouth/Galena, Kansas
“It ties people together. These people are from all over the world. Ok? They are coming Japan, Germany, Brazil, and France, and you cannot interact with people like that and not realize that there are other ways of looking at things. It’s not just asphalt to me. It’s history but it’s history you can still experience. You can touch it, you can feel it. The food is different.” Says Joe Sonderman/Route 66 Author and Historian.
“It was here in 1926, April 30th. It was in conjunction with a Rotary convention that the people who were working hard, to a good number for this proposed road from Chicago to LA, met and were trying to resolve a six month sort of impasse with the federal government over what number to use. They wanted 60, the federal government offered 62 and they got to looking at the list of available numbers and said, hey! Sixty Six is still available! So they sent a telegram off to DC in the late afternoon of Friday, April 30, 1926 from right here in Springfield saying we’ll take sixty six if everybody else agrees to this. So that’s why we call Springfield the Birthplace of Route 66.” Says Tom Peters/MSU Dean of Library Services.
“And it makes you realize that what you build is ephemeral. It’s not forever, but the legacy you leave behind with people is.” Says Sonderman.
And that’s the most important lesson you can learn.