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Santa Monica Pier to be Named Route 66's Western Point

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Photo by Caveman 92223 via Flickr
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Tomorrow is the 83rd Anniversary of the numbered highway system that gave birth to Route 66, among others. In honor of that, the long-debated ending point of the famed auto-passage will find itself at the Santa Monica Pier in a 9 a.m. ceremony with a parade 66 vintage cars and motorbikes (it begins at Santa Monica and Lincoln) and the unveiling of a replica of the "End of the Trail" sign.As the LA Times notes, "the Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway that John Steinbeck labeled the 'Mother Road' -- never fully extended to the beach in Santa Monica." Rather, "the highway's original end point in 1926 was at 7th Street and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles... A decade later, the road was extended to Olympic and Lincoln boulevards in Santa Monica."

Still, the ending point was debated with popular opinion stating the pier as the ending point. And so, at the request of the Route 66 Alliance, the city of Santa Monica will make it official.

Glen Duncan, president of the California Route 66 Preservation Foundation, told the Times he supports the Santa Monica Pier as the "spiritual ending"-- after all, the beach was the destination--but says calling it the official terminus is a confusing blend of historical fact and incomplete intentions.