U.S. Congress passes bill to commemorate Route 66 centennial in 2026

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Historic US Route 66 Road Marking Paint Kingman Arizona
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Big celebrations require plenty of planning—sometimes years of it. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed SEMA-supported legislation to create a commission “that would recommend ways to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66” in 2026. The historic 2448-mile stretch of road was commissioned in 1926 as the first all-paved U.S. highway.

According to SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association), the “Route 66 Centennial Commission Act,” S. 1014, creates a 15-person commission with representatives appointed by the President of the United States. The appointments are based on recommendations from the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders, and the Governors of Route 66 states Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

1941 car and trailer on route 66
Bettmann Archive via Getty Images

The commission has two years to make recommendations to Congress about how to celebrate the iconic highway known as The Mother Road. SEMA says, “It may recommend the production of various written materials, films and documentaries, education programs, artistic works, commemorative memorabilia, and celebrations to commemorate Route 66’s storied history.”

The legislation, which unanimously passed the U.S. Senate in August, now heads to the White House for the President’s signature.

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