Route 66 is widely recognized around the world as an icon of 20th-century America, emphasizing personal mobility and pursuit of the American Dream. However, the experience of driving and working on the road was not the same for everyone.
Route 66 was a mirror-reflection of the social values of the time, and its history can tell many of the deeper and sometimes painful stories about American life in the first half of the 20th century. This includes stories of racial discrimination for African Americans.
To help shed light on these important stories, the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program has undertaken the Route 66 Green Book Project. The "Green Book" was an annual travel guide published from 1936 to 1964 by Victor H. Green. It was intended to provide African American travelers with lodging, dining, and other information necessary to stay safe and comfortable during the era of segregation prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
To see what the NPS Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program has compiled, go to Route 66 and the Historic Negro Motorist Green Book webpage.