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Oklahoma Tourism Along Route 66: Pioneers, Perseverance, Community, and Freedom

Douglas A. Hurt, Ajax Delvecki, Adam Payne and Gary Gress
Material Culture
Vol. 44, No. 1 (Spring 2012), pp. 31-49
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23145819
Page Count: 19
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Oklahoma Tourism Along Route 66: Pioneers, Perseverance, Community, and Freedom
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Abstract

A 2007 Zogby International Survey found that nearly one-third of Americans surveyed did not know enough about Oklahoma to form positive or negative opinions of the state. In order to explore what cultural heritage images of Oklahoma tourist sites convey to visitors, we assessed the information presented to tourists at museums and historic sites in the state astride U.S. Highway 66 (commonly referred to as Route 66). Four themes dominate interpretation at Route 66 historic sites. These locations suggest to tourists that the cultural heritage of Oklahoma is deeply rooted in its pioneer past, is based upon perseverance during regularly occurring trying times, is underlain by a passion for community cooperation, and is based upon the idea of mobility as a key to individual freedom. We conclude by reflecting on the ideas of Schöllmann et al. about the construction of heritage tourism sites and their application to Route 66.

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