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Press Release

July 17, 2023

Contact: Jessica Brogdon
Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-0780

Oklahoma Historical Society Executive Director Named to Route 66 Centennial Commission

OKLAHOMA CITY — Trait Thompson, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, was appointed to the Route 66 Centennial Commission by President Joe Biden. Congress established the Commission to study and make recommendations on how to celebrate the centennial anniversary of Route 66 in 2026.

“I would like to thank Senator Mitch McConnell for nominating me to the federal Route 66 Centennial Commission and President Joe Biden for appointing me. It is an honor to represent Oklahoma on this distinguished panel,” said Thompson. “Route 66 is indelibly tied to the development of our state, and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to plan activities for the centennial that shine a light on the importance of the Mother Road.”

Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926, by the American Association of State Highway Officials. The new highway was 2,400 miles long and wound through eight states, including Oklahoma. It was not completely paved until 12 years after its designation. With the establishment of the interstate highway system, Route 66 lost much of its traffic and was decommissioned as a federal highway on June 27, 1985. Oklahoma still has more than 400 drivable miles of Route 66 today. The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton offers visitors a personal journey through the history of the nation’s most revered highway.

The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.


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