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Who We Are

Route History Museum is the only brick and mortar museum in the United States that highlights the significance of the Black experience along Historic Route 66 using technology. Route History Museum fully integrates history and technology through exhibits, storytelling, and a virtual reality experience that highlights the significant roles of Black businesses, the Negro Motorist Green Book, the Great Migration, and sundown towns along the Illinois leg of Route 66 during the Civil Rights and Jim Crow eras. The Route History Museum also shares local unknown Springfield Black history, including the Springfield 1908 Race Riot, the Ambidexter Industrial and Normal Institute (coined the Tuskegee of the North) as well as many other significant contributions by Black Americans.

Established in 1926, Route 66 is one of the oldest highway systems in the United States. During the Jim Crow era, Sundown Towns populated Route 66. Sundown Towns are communities that for decades kept non-whites from living in them. From 1936-1964, the Negro Motorist Green-Book served as a guidebook for Black travelers.

Route History Museum prides itself on being a space where community members of all ages can be educated and trained using positive and relevant images and experiences of the Black experience along Route 66.

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