After it was decommissioned in the 1980s, Route 66 appeared headed for the dustbin of history.
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For decades, Route 66 captured the imagination of travelers the world over, offering a glimpse of a bygone era of American history, when people hit the road in search of adventure and a better life.But after it was decommissioned in the 1980s in favor of larger and faster thoroughfares, Route 66 appeared headed for the dustbin of history as the mom and pop stores, kitschy motels, diners and petrol stations that lined the road gradually shut down."I often say, 'You know what you are going to get at McDonald's ... but if you are on an old two-lane such as Route 66, you could go into a cafe, a greasy spoon, a pie place, a diner and you don't know what you're going to get'."He said the fastest growing groups of tourists on Route 66 are Chinese and Brazilians, as well as Europeans drawn by the idea of the open space and the "road trip of a lifetime". While the road for many may evoke images of a more innocent America, as encapsulated in Norman Rockwell's paintings, Route 66 had a more sinister side for black travelers.
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