Stories on Preserve Route 66 trip drew potential audience of 1.1 billion

The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership a few days ago issued its third-quarter report. Among the interesting nuggets is the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preserve Route 66 road trip generated more than 1,000 news stories and drew a potential audience of 1.15 billion.

Here are the tidbits from the report:

— The National Trust’s Preserve Route 66 trip generated 1,022 stories in newspapers, television and radio that reached a potential audience of 1,158,794,758. The partnership also said the campaign also generated “very positive” reactions.

— The campaign to set up Route 66 as a U.S. National Historic Trail has received 117 letters or resolutions of support from the eight states the highway traverses. The online petition to support the trail has gained more than 63,000 signatures, with a goal of 66,000 by November.

— U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) is considering introducing his own Route 66 National Historic Trail legislation. The partnership’s staff is working to make sure the bill contains the same language as a Route 66 National Historic Trail bill that advanced out of the U.S. House earlier this year.

— The Oklahoma Legislature soon may introduce a bill to set up an Oklahoma Route 66 Centennial Commission. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner a few weeks ago signed similar legislation into law in the Land of Lincoln.

— Completion on a Route 66 Navigation app is expected by May. Illinois State University arts technology students are working on it. American Indian tribes also will send information about their attractions to the app.

— A Route 66 Charity Charge credit card likely will be available by January.

— The partnership formed a Route 66 Green Book Task Force, based on the Negro Motorist Green Book published from the 1930s to the 1960s during the Jim Crow era. The group wants collaborate with people, organizations and governments to research, promote and preserve Green Book sites along the Mother Road. Its goals include preservation of existing sites, promotion of the Green Book’s history, more historical research and oral histories. Among the task force’s members are Candacy Taylor, a preeminent Green Book researcher and author of several upcoming books about the publication, and Morgan Vickers, a member of the Preserve Route 66 group who became fascinated with the Green Book sites during her journey.

— The Vintage Motel Task Force identified challenges of Route 66 motel owners and set goals for the group. More was reported earlier here.

— The Lakota Group, a community planning firm, will do a pro bono case study of Pontiac to help develop an economic development toolkit for the partnership so tourism officials and municipalities can take advantage of Route 66 sites in their area.

— Gretchen McAllister, a teacher working with the Northern Arizona University library on a Route 66 class and associated website created by students, joined the Road Ahead Education and Research Working Group. The group also is reaching out to other educators teaching about Route 66 to help develop a Route 66 toolkit.

— The partnership’s Youth Outreach Task Force will begin a video and social-media campaign from November through April.

(Image of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preserve Route 66 group at the Whiting Bros. gas station in Moriarty, New Mexico, by David Kafer)

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