Route 66 was commissioned in 1926 and fully paved by the 1930's. It ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, creating connections between hundreds of small towns and providing a trucking route through the Southwest. While not the first long-distance highway, or the most traveled, Route 66 gained fame beyond almost any other road. Dubbed the "Mother Road" by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath, Route 66 carried hundreds of thousands of Depression era migrants from the Midwest who went to California hoping for jobs and a better life.
This following is a great map that goes dark and old vintage post-cards light up along the route.
In the 1930's drought and failing crop prices drove thousands of rural midwestern families to leave their farms and follow Route 66 to California and find work. James F. and Flossie Haggard left Oklahoma in 1935 after a fire destroyed their barn and its contents. The Haggards and their children, Lilian and James Lowell, made their home near Bakersfield, and James found work with the Santa Fe Railroad. Another son, Merle, was born in Bakersfield and began his singing career there. By the 1960s Merle Haggard was a country music legend.
These were amongst their belongings; a kerosine lamp which lit the Haggard's living room and dining room in Oklahoma. They carried it to their new home in California. A bowl which they used in Oklahoma and California, and a camera that belonged to Flossie Haggard who was an amateur photographer and took pictures of the family during the trip to California on Route 66.
Fishing Guy reminded me that there was a TV show about Route 66. You can find out about it here.