Senate Passes Route 66 Centennial Legislation

From the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership:

Washington, DC – The Route 66 Centennial Commission Act (S1014) passed by unanimous consent out of the US Senate on August 10, 2020. After the measure is reconciled with the bill already passed by the House, it will go to President Trump for his signature. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced the bill on April 3, 2019, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of historic Route 66. The Commission will help plan this historic event for this iconic road that symbolizes the heritage of travel and the shared legacy of Americans seeking a better life.

Fifteen Commissioners will be appointed on the recommendation of the President, members of Congress, and Governors of the eight Route 66 states. Appointees will have demonstrated both a dedication to educating others about the importance of historical figures and events, and a substantial knowledge and appreciation of Route 66.

The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is taking the lead in orchestrating the celebration of Route 66’s 100th birthday gala celebration in 2026, and it is starting immediately. A five-year series of birthday celebration initiatives begins in 2021, culminating in 2026, the road’s centennial year. Think of the initiatives as “birthday presents” that individuals, corporations, foundations, organizations, communities, and businesses are invited to give Route 66 over the next five years.

The purpose of these gifts is to support Route 66 through preservation, economic development, promotion, research, and/or education projects. The goal is to position the historic highway, the communities along the road, and the people who live there for success during the next 100 years. “We are very thankful to Senators Duckworth and Inhofe for their support of the Commission bill”, said Bill Thomas, Road Ahead Chairman. “They, along with the state Route 66 Associations and many grassroots supporters of Route 66, have put in place what we need to plan and carry out a “Party with a Purpose” – helping Route 66.”

Route 66 was commissioned in 1926 and decommissioned in 1985. Though no longer part of the US highway system, the road continues to be a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international travelers.

Established in 2015, with the support of the National Park Service and the World Monuments Fund, The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership’s mission is to revitalize and sustain Route 66 as a national and international icon through partnerships focused on promotion, preservation,
research and education, and economic development.

Bill Thomas, Chairman
Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership

1 thought on “Senate Passes Route 66 Centennial Legislation

  1. Great news ! it’s about time, that the importance of Historic Route 66 was recognised, people not only in the United States, but from all over the world want to experience the Americana that it offers.
    It is difficult for overseas travellers, for many reasons some of which-it’s hard enough driving with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car, driving on the wrong side of the road, following some 66 signs (lots have been stolen) so navigating by maps and satnav’s is hard as the route is not on a lot of maps, satnavs, arent that great either for this route…However i am glad the route 66 has been given legislation to encourage the people of the towns on the route to carry on embracing it’s heritage and importance to tourists. i love the videos i have seen on on you tube of tourists drives of the route, and it’s encouraged me to plan a trip with my sons, hopefully in 2 years time-so i think old 66 needs all the help it can get-so it’s still there in many years to come for all the visitors that want to go and experience it.

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