State Sen. James Leewright, R-Bristow, has been appointed to serve on the Oklahoma Route 66 Centennial Commission, a 21-member panel that will help plan the state’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the highway known as “The Mother Road.”
The commission was created by legislation approved and signed into law this year. Its members are charged with planning, coordinating and implementing programs and special events to celebrate the historic highway’s centennial in 2026 with the support of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Leewright was chosen by Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat to serve on the panel.
Construction on the highway began in 1926, connecting Chicago to Santa Monica with a route that ran through eight states—Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
“Several historians and articles point out that the biggest stretch of Route 66, some 400 miles, runs through Oklahoma, and a good part of that runs right through Senate District 12,” said Leewright, who chairs the Senate’s Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee. “Route 66 connected our country, from the east to the west, small towns to big cities, and brought tourism and businesses to Oklahoma.”
The commission will meet quarterly to plan and sponsor official Route 66 Centennial events and activities, including encouraging programs designed to involve citizens in the celebration, and help inform the public about Route 66 Centennial events.
“Route 66 has been celebrated in song, film and television. Even though it lost its official designation as a U.S. Highway in 1985, there’s been a renewed interest in the great history of Route 66 in recent years—something that is only going to build as we approach this centennial,” Leewright said. “I’m thrilled to be a part of this commission and I know this 100th anniversary is going to bring tremendous tourism opportunities for Oklahoma, and especially District 12.”