Academy Award for Best Director
The Academy Award for Best Director is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It is given in honor of a film director who has exhibited outstanding directing while working in the film industry; the 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 with the award being split into "Dramatic" and "Comedy" categories. However, these categories were merged for all subsequent ceremonies. Nominees are determined by single transferable vote within the directors branch of AMPAS. For the first eleven years of the Academy Awards, directors were allowed to be nominated for multiple films in the same year. However, after the nomination of Michael Curtiz for two films, Angels with Dirty Faces and Four Daughters, at the 11th Academy Awards, the rules were revised so that an individual could only be nominated for one film at each ceremony; that rule has since been amended, although the only director who has received multiple nominations in the same year was Steven Soderbergh for Erin Brockovich and Traffic in 2000, winning the award for the latter.
The Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture have been closely linked throughout their history. Of the 91 films that have been awarded Best Picture, 65 have been awarded Best Director. Since its inception, the award has been given to directing teams. John Ford has received the most awards in this category with four. William Wyler was nominated on twelve occasions, more than any other individual. Damien Chazelle became the youngest director in history to receive this award, at the age of 32 for his work on La La Land. Two directing teams have shared the award; the Coen brothers are the only siblings to have won the award. Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to have won the award, for 2009's The Hurt Locker. Since the 82nd ceremony held in 2010, when the Best Picture category was no longer limited to 5 nominees, only Bennett Miller and Paweł Pawlikowski have been nominated for films not nominated for Best Picture; as of the 2019 ceremony, Alfonso Cuarón is the most recent winner in this category for his work on Roma.
In the following table, the years are listed as per Academy convention, correspond to the year of film release in Los Angeles County, California. For the first five ceremonies, the eligibility period spanned twelve months from August 1 to July 31. For the 6th ceremony held in 1934, the eligibility period lasted from August 1, 1932, to December 31, 1933. Since the 7th ceremony held in 1935, the period of eligibility became the full previous calendar year from January 1 to December 31; as of the 91st Academy Awards, four Asian directors have been nominated a total of six times in this category, one has won the award two times. 1965 – Hiroshi Teshigahara for Woman in the Dunes 1985 – Akira Kurosawa for Ran 1999 – M. Night Shyamalan for The Sixth Sense † 2000 – Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon † 2005 – Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain † 2012 – Ang Lee for Life of Pi † As of the 91st Academy Awards, six black directors have been nominated a total of six times in this category, none have won the award.
1991 – John Singleton for Boyz n the Hood § 2009 – Lee Daniels for Precious † 2013 – Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave ‡ 2016 – Barry Jenkins for Moonlight ‡ 2017 – Jordan Peele for Get Out §† 2018 – Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman † As of the 91st Academy Awards, five Latin American directors have been nominated a total of eight times in this category, three have won the award five times. 1985 – Héctor Babenco for Kiss of the Spider Woman † 2003 – Fernando Meirelles for City of God 2006 – Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Babel † 2013 – Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity † 2014 – Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Birdman ‡ 2015 – Alejandro G. Iñárritu for The Revenant † 2017 – Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water ‡ 2018 – Alfonso Cuarón for Roma † As of the 91st Academy Awards, seven Oceanic directors have been nominated a total of eleven times in this category, one has won the award. 1942 – John Farrow for Wake Island † 1983 – Bruce Beresford for Tender Mercies † 1985 – Peter Weir for Witness † 1989 – Peter Weir for Dead Poets Society † 1993 – Jane Campion for The Piano † 1995 – Chris Noonan for Babe † 1998 – Peter Weir for The Truman Show 2001 – Peter Jackson for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring † 2003 – Peter Jackson for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ‡ 2003 – Peter Weir for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World † 2015 – George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road † As of the 91st Academy Awards, five female directors have been nominated a total of five times in the category, one has won the award.
1976 – Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties 1993 – Jane Campion for The Piano † 2003 – Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation † 2009 – Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker ‡ 2017 – Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird §† As of the 91st Academy Awards, twenty-five directors of non-English language films have been nominated a total of thirty times in this category, one has won the award. 1961 - Federico Fellini for La Dolce Vita, Italian 1962 - Pietro Germi for Divorce Italian Style, Italian 1963 - Federico Fellini for 8½, Italian 1964 - Michael Cacoyannis for Zorba the Greek, Greek 1965 -
Alfred Newman (composer)
Alfred Newman was an American composer and conductor of film music. From his start as a music prodigy, he came to be regarded as a respected figure in the history of film music, he was nominated forty-three times. In a career spanning more than four decades, Newman composed the scores for over 200 motion pictures; some of his most famous scores include Wuthering Heights, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Mark of Zorro, How Green Was My Valley, The Song of Bernadette, Captain from Castile, All About Eve, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, The Diary of Anne Frank, How The West Was Won, The Greatest Story Ever Told, his final score, all of which were nominated for or won Academy Awards. He is best known for composing the fanfare which accompanies the studio logo at the beginning of 20th Century Fox's productions. Newman was highly regarded as a conductor, arranged and conducted many scores by other composers, including George Gershwin, Charlie Chaplin, Irving Berlin, he conducted the music for many film adaptations of Broadway musicals, as well as many original Hollywood musicals.
He was among the first musicians to compose and conduct original music during Hollywood's Golden Age of movies becoming a respected and powerful music director in the history of Hollywood. Newman and two of his fellow composers, Max Steiner and Dimitri Tiomkin, were considered the "three godfathers of film music". Newman was born on March 17, 1900, in New Haven, the eldest of ten children to Russian Jewish parents who emigrated shortly before his birth. Although many sources show a birth year of 1901, musicologist and composer Fred Steiner revealed that Alfred was born in 1900, his father, Michael Newman, was a produce dealer and his mother, took care of the family. Her father had been a cantor in Russia, she sent her first born, to a local piano teacher to begin lessons when he was five. At one point, in order to take lessons, he walked a ten-mile round trip. With enough to live on, his parents once had to sell their dog to make ends meet. By the age of eight he had become known locally as a piano prodigy.
His talent led virtuoso Ignacy Jan Paderewski to arrange a recital for him in New York, where Sigismund Stojowski and Alexander Lambert, at different periods, took him as a pupil. To save Newman commuting cost, Stojowski convinced a ticket inspector to let young Newman sometimes travel free. Stojowski offered him a scholarship, after which Newman won a silver medal and a gold medal in a competition, he studied harmony and composition with Rubin Goldmark and George Wedge. By the time Newman was 12, his parents' meager income was not enough to support his large family, which led to him searching for ways to earn an income from music to help his family, he began playing in theaters and restaurants, including the Strand theater and the Harlem Opera House, with a schedule that had him playing five shows a day. During the shows, he accompanied singers as pianist. Grace La Rue, star of one the shows, was taken by Newman's talent and signed him on as her regular accompanist. Newman, at 13 attracted the attention of author Ella Wheeler Wilcox, who wanted to promote him to those who could further his music ambition.
She admired his ability to play Mendelssohn, Liszt and other composers, with equal skill, in her opinion, as Paderewski. She said he "possessed most unusual moral qualities and characteristics": He is a beautiful looking boy, gentle and wholly unspoiled. I am not interested in him because he renders the great masters marvelously and composes wonderfully, but rather because he has such a rare and interesting nature, his father is a poor Russian fruit dealer and Alfred is the oldest of eight children. The mother is a beautiful woman, both parents show good blood and breeding despite their humble position and lack of means; the family has made every possible sacrifice in order to educate this boy in music, he has a most deep-seated sense of noblesse oblige. His whole desire for success seems based upon his anxiety to make his parents happy and to repay them for what they have done for him, he began traveling the vaudeville circuit with La Rue's show when he was 13, where she billed him as "The Marvelous Boy Pianist".
While on tours, he was sometimes allowed to conduct the orchestras. This led to him making conducting his career goal, an ambition furthered by William Merrigan Daly, an experienced music director and composer who taught Newman the basics of conducting. By the time he was fifteen, he was conducting performances for matinee shows. Cincinnati Symphony conductor Fritz Reiner was so impressed by Newman, he invited him to be a guest conductor; when he was nineteen, he began conducting full-time in New York City, the beginning of a ten-year career on Broadway as the conductor of musicals by composers such as George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern. He conducted George White's Scandals in 1919, Funny Face in 1927 and Treasure Girl in 1929. Newman said he was always happiest as a conductor: "I studied music composition and counterpoint because I wanted to be a good conductor."In 1930 songwriter and composer Irving Berlin invited him to Hollywood to conduct his score for the film Reaching for the Moon.
Although the musical film was planned to include songs written by Berlin, problems developed between him and director Edmund Goulding, which led to most of his songs being taken out. Newman was kept on and received credit for directing the mus
Moss Hart was an American playwright and theatre director. Hart was born in the son of Lillian and Barnett Hart, a cigar maker, he had Bernard. He grew up in relative poverty with his English-born Jewish immigrant parents in the Bronx and in Sea Gate, Brooklyn. Early on he had a strong relationship with his Aunt Kate, with whom he lost contact due to a falling out between her and his parents, Kate's weakening mental state, she took him to see performances often. Hart went so far as to create an "alternate ending" to her life in his book Act One, he writes. Kate became eccentric and disturbed, vandalizing Hart's home, writing threatening letters and setting fires backstage during rehearsals for Jubilee, but his relationship with her was formative. He learned that the theater made possible "the art of being somebody else … not a scrawny boy with bad teeth, a funny name … and a mother, a distant drudge." After working several years as a director of amateur theatrical groups and an entertainment director at summer resorts, he scored his first Broadway hit with Once in a Lifetime, a farce about the arrival of the sound era in Hollywood.
The play was written in collaboration with Broadway veteran George S. Kaufman, who wrote with others, notably Marc Connelly and Edna Ferber. During the next decade and Hart teamed on a string of successes, including You Can't Take It with You and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Though Kaufman had hits with others, Hart is conceded to be his most important collaborator. You Can't Take It With You, the story of an eccentric family and how they live during the Depression, won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for drama, it is Hart's most-revived play. When director Frank Capra and writer Robert Riskin adapted it for the screen in 1938, the film won the Best Picture Oscar and Capra won for Best Director; the Man Who Came To Dinner is about the caustic Sheridan Whiteside who, after injuring himself slipping on ice, must stay in a Midwestern family's house. The character was based on Hart's friend, critic Alexander Woollcott. Other characters in the play are based on Harpo Marx and Gertrude Lawrence. After George Washington Slept Here and Hart called it quits, although throughout the 1930s, Hart worked both with and without Kaufman on several musicals and revues, including Face the Music.
Hart continued to write plays after parting with Kaufman, such as Christopher Blake and Light Up the Sky, as well as the book for the musical Lady In The Dark, with songs by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin. However, he became best known during this period as a director. Among the Broadway hits he staged were Junior Miss, Dear Ruth and Anniversary Waltz. By far his biggest hit was the musical My Fair Lady, adapted from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe; the show won a Tony Award for Best Musical. Hart picked up the Tony for Best Director. Hart wrote some screenplays, including Gentleman's Agreement – for which he received an Oscar nomination – Hans Christian Andersen and A Star Is Born, he wrote a memoir, Act One: An Autobiography by Moss Hart, released in 1959. It was adapted to film with George Hamilton portraying Hart; the last show Hart directed was Loewe musical Camelot. During a troubled out-of-town tryout, Hart had a heart attack.
The show opened before he recovered, but he and Lerner reworked it after the opening. That, along with huge pre-sales and a cast performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, helped ensure the expensive production was a hit. In 1947, as a member of the Dramatists Guild of America Hart served as the tenth elected Guild president. There he continued his work for advocacy as president for 10 years, until 1956 when Oscar Hammerstein II became his successor. Hart married Kitty Carlisle on August 10, 1946, she was with him. She was still working as a TV game show panelist and touring lecturer in 2001 and remained active until contracting pneumonia in late 2006, she died at the age of 96 on April 17, 2007. Moss Hart died of a heart attack at the age of 57 on December 20, 1961, at his winter home in Palm Springs, California, he was entombed in a crypt at Ferncliff Cemetery in New York. In 1972, 11 years after his death, Moss Hart was posthumously inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame, he was one of 23 people to be selected into the Hall of Fame's first induction class that year.
Alan Jay Lerner gave tribute to Hart in his memoir, The Street. The New England Theatre Conference offers the Moss Hart Memorial Award at their annual convention to theater groups in New England which put forth imaginative productions of exemplary scripts; these awards are designed to honor Moss Hart as well as the award recipients. The Moss Hart Award has been referred to as the New England Tony Award. Developed as an offshoot of the successful Grove Theater Center New Play Initiative, the Moss Hart and Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative expands the program to one of the few programs of its kind where a
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library that serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States; the Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C.. The Library's functions are overseen by the Librarian of Congress, its buildings are maintained by the Architect of the Capitol; the Library of Congress has claimed to be the largest library in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."The Library of Congress moved to Washington in 1800 after sitting for 11 years in the temporary national capitals in New York City and Philadelphia. The small Congressional Library was housed in the United States Capitol for most of the 19th century until the early 1890s. Most of the original collection had been destroyed by the British in 1814 during the War of 1812, the library sought to restore its collection in 1815.
They bought Thomas Jefferson's entire personal collection of 6,487 books. After a period of slow growth, another fire struck the Library in its Capitol chambers in 1851, again destroying a large amount of the collection, including many of Jefferson's books. After the American Civil War, the Library of Congress grew in both size and importance, which sparked a campaign to purchase replacement copies for volumes, burned; the Library received the right of transference of all copyrighted works to deposit two copies of books, maps and diagrams printed in the United States. It began to build its collections, its development culminated between 1888 and 1894 with the construction of a separate, extensive library building across the street from the Capitol; the Library's primary mission is to research inquiries made by members of Congress, carried out through the Congressional Research Service. The Library is open to the public, although only high-ranking government officials and Library employees may check out books and materials.
James Madison is credited with the idea of creating a congressional library, first making such a proposition in 1783. The Library of Congress was subsequently established April 24, 1800 when President John Adams signed an act of Congress providing for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. Part of the legislation appropriated $5,000 "for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress... and for fitting up a suitable apartment for containing them." Books were ordered from London, the collection consisted of 740 books and three maps which were housed in the new United States Capitol. President Thomas Jefferson played an important role in establishing the structure of the Library of Congress. On January 26, 1802, he signed a bill that allowed the president to appoint the Librarian of Congress and establishing a Joint Committee on the Library to regulate and oversee it; the new law extended borrowing privileges to the President and Vice President.
The invading British army burned Washington in August 1814 during the War of 1812 and destroyed the Library of Congress and its collection of 3,000 volumes. These volumes had been left in the Senate wing of the Capitol. One of the few congressional volumes to survive was a government account book of receipts and expenditures for 1810, it was taken as a souvenir by British Admiral George Cockburn, whose family returned it to the United States government in 1940. Within a month, Thomas Jefferson offered to sell his personal library as a replacement. Congress accepted his offer in January 1815; some members of the House of Representatives opposed the outright purchase, including New Hampshire Representative Daniel Webster who wanted to return "all books of an atheistical and immoral tendency." Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating a wide variety of books in several languages and on subjects such as philosophy, law, architecture, natural sciences, studies of classical Greece and Rome, modern inventions, hot air balloons, submarines, fossils and meteorology.
He had collected books on topics not viewed as part of a legislative library, such as cookbooks. However, he believed, he remarked: I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from their collection. Jefferson's collection was unique in that it was the working collection of a scholar, not a gentleman's collection for display. With the addition of his collection, the Library of Congress was transformed from a specialist's library to a more general one, his original collection was organized into a scheme based on Francis Bacon's organization of knowledge. He grouped his books into Memory and Imagination, which broke down into 44 more subdivisions; the Library followed Jefferson's organization scheme until the late 19th century, when librarian Herbert Putnam began work on a more flexible Library of Congress Classification structure that now applies to more than 138 million items. In 1851, a fire destroyed two thirds of the Jefferson collection, with only 2,000 books remaining.
By 2008, the Librarians of Congress had found replacements for all but 300 of the works that were in Jefferson's original collection. On December 22, 1851 the largest fire in the Library's history destroyed 35,000 books, about two–thi
Elia Kazan was a Greek-American director, producer and actor, described by The New York Times as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history". He was born in Constantinople. After attending Williams College and the Yale School of Drama, he acted professionally for eight years joining the Group Theatre in 1932, co-founded the Actors Studio in 1947. With Robert Lewis and Cheryl Crawford, his actors' studio introduced "Method Acting" under the direction of Lee Strasberg. Kazan acted including City for Conquest. Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins, he directed a string of successful films, including A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, East of Eden. During his career, he won two Oscars as Best Director, three Tony Awards, four Golden Globes, he received an Honorary Oscar. His films were concerned with social issues of special concern to him. Kazan writes, "I don't move unless I have some empathy with the basic theme."
His first such "issue" film was Gentleman's Agreement, with Gregory Peck, which dealt with anti-Semitism in America. It received 3 wins, including Kazan's first for Best Director, it was followed by Pinky, one of the first films in mainstream Hollywood to address racial prejudice against black people. In 1954, he directed On the Waterfront, a film about union corruption on the New York harbor waterfront. A Streetcar Named Desire, an adaptation of the stage play which he had directed, received 12 Oscar nominations, winning 4, was Marlon Brando's breakthrough role. In 1955, he directed John Steinbeck's East of Eden. A turning point in Kazan's career came with his testimony as a witness before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1952 at the time of the Hollywood blacklist, which brought him strong negative reactions from many liberal friends and colleagues, his testimony helped end the careers of former acting colleagues Morris Carnovsky and Art Smith, along with ending the work of playwright Clifford Odets.
Kazan justified his act by saying he took "only the more tolerable of two alternatives that were either way painful and wrong." Nearly a half-century his anti-Communist testimony continued to cause controversy. When Kazan was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1999, dozens of actors chose not to applaud as 250 demonstrators picketed the event. Kazan influenced the films of the 1950s and 1960s with issue-driven subjects. Director Stanley Kubrick called him, "without question, the best director we have in America, capable of performing miracles with the actors he uses." Film author Ian Freer concludes that "if his achievements are tainted by political controversy, the debt Hollywood—and actors everywhere—owes him is enormous." In 2010, Martin Scorsese co-directed the documentary film A Letter to Elia as a personal tribute to Kazan. Elia Kazan was born in the Fener district of Istanbul, to Cappadocian Greek parents from Kayseri in Anatolia, he arrived with his parents and Athena Kazantzoglou, to the United States on 8 July 1913.
He was named after Elia Kazantzoglou. His maternal grandfather was Isaak Shishmanoglou. Elia's brother, was born in Berlin and became a psychiatrist. Kazan was raised in the Greek Orthodox religion, attended Greek Orthodox services every Sunday, where he had to stand for several hours with his father, his mother did not go to church. When Kazan was about eight years old, the family moved to New Rochelle, New York, his father sent him to a Roman Catholic catechism school because there was no Orthodox church nearby; as a young boy, he was remembered as being shy, his college classmates described him as more of a loner. Much of his early life was portrayed in his autobiographical book, America America, which he made into a film in 1963. In it, he describes his family as "alienated" from both their parents' Greek Orthodox values and from those of mainstream America, his mother's family were cotton merchants who imported cotton from England, sold it wholesale. His father had become a rug merchant after emigrating to the United States, expected that his son would go into the same business.
After attending public schools through high school, Kazan enrolled at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he helped pay his way by waiting tables and washing dishes. He worked as a bartender at various fraternities, but never joined one. While a student at Williams, he earned the nickname "Gadg," for Gadget, because, he said, "I was small and handy to have around." The nickname was taken up by his stage and film stars. In America America he tells how, why, his family left Turkey and moved to America. Kazan notes, he says during an interview that "it's all true: the wealth of the family was put on the back of a donkey, my uncle still a boy, went to Istanbul... to bring the family there to escape the oppressive circumstances... It's true that he lost the money on the way, when he got there he swept rugs in a little store."Kazan notes some of the controversial aspects of what he put in the film. He writes "I used to say to myself when I was making the film that America was a dream of total freedom in all areas."
To make his point, the character who portrays Kazan's uncle Avraam kisses
Anne Revere was an American stage and television actress. Born in New York City, Revere was a direct descendant of Boston silversmith and American Revolution hero Paul Revere, her father, was a stockbroker, she was raised on the Upper West Side and in Westfield, New Jersey. In 1926, she graduated from Wellesley College. Despite her unsuccessful attempts to join dramatic groups in high school and in college, she was successful at Wellesley and studied dramatics there, she went on to enroll at the American Laboratory School to study acting with Maria Ouspenskaya and Richard Boleslavsky. Revere gained early acting experience in regional and stock theater troupes, she made her Broadway debut in 1931 in The Great Barrington. Three years she went to Hollywood to reprise her stage role in the film adaptation of Double Door, she returned to Broadway to create the role of Martha Dobie in the original 1934 production of The Children's Hour, in years she appeared on the New York stage in As You Like It, The Three Sisters, Toys in the Attic, for which she won the 1960 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play.
Revere worked as a character actress in films, appearing in nearly three dozen between 1934 and 1951. She was cast in the role of a matriarch and played mother to Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck, John Garfield, Montgomery Clift, among others, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress three times and won for her performance in National Velvet. Additional screen credits included The Song of Bernadette, Gentleman's Agreement, The Keys of the Kingdom and Soul, A Place in the Sun. In 1951, Revere resigned from the board of the Screen Actors Guild. At the time she was an active member of the American Communist Party, she pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. She would not appear again on film for the next 20 years returning to the screen in Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon, she began appearing on television in 1960, notably in soap operas such as A Flame in the Wind, The Edge of Night, Search for Tomorrow, Ryan's Hope.
Revere and her husband, theatre director Samuel Rosen, moved to New York and opened an acting school, she continued to work in summer stock and regional theater productions and on television. Revere married Rosen in 1935, they remained wed until his death in 1984. Revere was a Democrat who supported the campaign of Adlai Stevenson during the 1952 presidential election. Revere died of pneumonia in her Locust Valley, New York, home at the age of 87, she was survived by one sister. She was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Massachusetts. Anne Revere at the Internet Broadway Database Anne Revere at the Internet Off-Broadway Database Anne Revere on IMDb
U.S. Route 66
U. S. Route 66 known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways in the U. S. Highway System. US 66 was established on November 1926, with road signs erected the following year; the highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the United States ran from Chicago, through Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona before ending in Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, covering a total of 2,448 miles. It was recognized in popular culture by both the hit song " Route 66" and the Route 66 television show in the 1960s. In John Steinbeck's classic American novel, The Grapes of Wrath, the road, "Highway 66", was turned into a powerful symbol of escape and loss. US 66 served as a primary route for those who migrated west during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the road supported the economies of the communities through which it passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway, those same people fought to keep the highway alive in the face of the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System.
US 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, but was removed from the United States Highway System in 1985 after it had been replaced in its entirety by segments of the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, New Mexico, Arizona have been communally designated a National Scenic Byway of the name "Historic Route 66", returning the name to some maps. Several states have adopted significant bypassed sections of the former US 66 into their state road networks as State Route 66; the corridor is being redeveloped into U. S. Bicycle Route 66, a part of the United States Bicycle Route System, developed in the 2010s. In 1857, Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a Naval officer in the service of the U. S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, was ordered by the War Department to build a government-funded wagon road along the 35th Parallel, his secondary orders were to test the feasibility of the use of camels as pack animals in the southwestern desert.
This road became part of US 66. Parts of the original Route 66 from 1913, prior to its official naming and commissioning, can still be seen north of the Cajon Pass; the paved road becomes a dirt road, south of Cajon, the original Route 66. Before a nationwide network of numbered highways was adopted by the states, named auto trails were marked by private organizations; the route that would become US 66 was covered by three highways. The Lone Star Route passed through St. Louis on its way from Chicago to Cameron, though US 66 would take a shorter route through Bloomington rather than Peoria; the transcontinental National Old Trails Road led via St. Louis to Los Angeles, but was not followed until New Mexico. Again, a shorter route was taken, here following the Postal Highway between Oklahoma City and Amarillo; the National Old Trails Road became the rest of the route to Los Angeles. While legislation for public highways first appeared in 1916, with revisions in 1921, it was not until Congress enacted an more comprehensive version of the act in 1925 that the government executed its plan for national highway construction.
The original inspiration for a roadway between Chicago and Los Angeles was planned by entrepreneurs Cyrus Avery of Tulsa and John Woodruff of Springfield, Missouri. The pair lobbied the American Association of State Highway Officials for the creation of a route following the 1925 plans. From the outset, public road planners intended US 66 to connect the main streets of rural and urban communities along its course for the most practical of reasons: most small towns had no prior access to a major national thoroughfare; the numerical designation 66 was assigned to the Chicago-to-Los Angeles route on April 30, 1926, in Springfield, Missouri. A placard in Park Central Square was dedicated to the city by the Route 66 Association of Missouri, traces of the "Mother Road" are still visible in downtown Springfield along Kearney Street, Glenstone Avenue, St. Louis streets and on Route 266 to Halltown, Missouri. Championed by Avery when the first talks about a national highway system began, US 66 was first signed into law in 1927 as one of the original U.
S. Highways, although it was not paved until 1938. Avery was adamant that the highway had proposed number 60 to identify it. A controversy erupted over the number 60 from delegates from Kentucky who wanted a Virginia Beach–Los Angeles highway to be US 60 and US 62 between Chicago and Springfield, Missouri. Arguments and counterarguments continued throughout February, including a proposal to split the proposed route through Kentucky into Route 60 North and Route 60 South; the final conclusion was to have US 60 run between Virginia Beach and Springfield, the Chicago–L. A. Route be US 62. Avery and highway engineer John Page settled on "66,", unassigned, despite the fact that in its entirety, US 66 was north of US 60; the state of Missouri released its 1926 state highway map with the highway labeled as US 60. After the new federal highway system was created, Cyrus Avery called for the establishment of the U. S. Highway 66 Association to promote the complete paving of the highway from end to end and to promote travel down the highway.
In 1927, in Tulsa, the association was established with John T. Woodr