On the afternoon of Friday, April 30, 1926, while a large Rotary convention was in town, Cyrus Avery and John Page from Oklahoma, along with B. H. Piepmeier and probably John T. Woodruff from Missouri, met in the Colonial Hotel, located in the southwest quadrant of the corner of East St. Louis Street and Jefferson Avenue near the central square in Springfield, Missouri, to try to resolve a months-long disagreement with the federal government and other states concerning what number should be assigned to a proposed federal highway from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. They decided to recommend the number 66. At approx. 4:00 p.m. Avery and Piepmeier sent a telegram to Washington DC indicating their new preference.
On Monday afternoon, April 30, 2018, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., interested members of the university, community, and region will meet at the corner of Jefferson and East St. Louis, under the Birthplace of Route 66 sign (not under the Big W — obscure movie reference) to celebrate Route 66’s 92nd birthday with cake, punch, postcards, conversation, selfies, and a grand prize to the best selfie with the sign. Remarks will be made at 4:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. This event is co-sponsored by the MSU Libraries and OzarksAlive.com, with encouragement from the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival Planning Committee.