Loading... Please wait...

History Timeline

1926

Route 66 is Born

Route 66 is created by connecting roads from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California to expedite the increasing cross country travel

1950

Angel Opens his Barber Shop on Route 66 in Seligman

After attending the American Barber College on Route 66 in Pasadena, California; and then finishing his apprenticeship on Route 66 in Williams, Arizona: Angel Delgadillo opens his barbershop on the original alignment of Route 66 in his hometown of Seligman, Arizona. (That section of Old Route 66 is now Railroad Ave.)

1978

I-40 replaces Route 66 September 22, 1978

Seligman, Arizona is by-passed by the opening of the new interstate. The traffic of thousands of automobiles passing through town on a daily basis comes to a halt. Route 66 is decomissioned, all the road signs are taken down, including the sign locating the town of Seligman. The livelihood of Angel's Barber Shop and all the other businesses in town, disappears in one day.

1987

Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona is formed February 18, 1987

As a response to hearing many travelers' reminiscences about their experiences on Route 66, Angel Delgadillo, in an effort to "bring back the economy to our towns", calls a meeting in which the 1st Historic Route 66 Association is formed. The Association's goal is to get the State of Arizona to bring back Route 66 as a historic highway

   The Original Route 66 Gift Shop is Established March 1987 in Seligman, AZ

Angel and wife, Vilma, start selling Route 66 memorabilia out of their barbershop/poolhall thereby establishing the first Route 66 gift shop.  For the first year all proceeds from the Route 66 merchandise goes to the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona.

 

Arizona deems Route 66 a Historic Highway in November 1987

The Arizona State Department of Transportation makes Old Route 66 a Historic Highway due to the efforts of the Angel and the other dedicated members of the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona.

 

CBS Television Interview

Angel and his story are featured on the CBS show "On the Road" with Bill Leverton

 1988 Historic Route 66 Dedication April 23, 1988

The State of Arizona preserves a 159 mile stretch of original Route 66 by designating it a historic highway. The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona holds a dedication ceremony celebrating their success.
To watch the 1988 News Story about the dedication ceremony in Seligman CLICK HERE
Now, every year the Association hosts a celebration of Route 66, now called the "Fun Run". For more information about the Fun Run see their website at www.azrt66.com

 

NBC Television Interview

Angel and his story are featured on NBC with Ron Hoon

1989

CBS Televsion Interview

Angel and his story are featured on CBS with Dan Rather

 

ABC World News Television Interview

Angel and his story are featured on ABC World News with Peter Jennings

1990

Angel is named President Emeritus of the Historic Route 66 Association July 7, 1990

The headquarters for the Association is moved to Kingman, Arizona but the Association names Angel President Emeritus "in acknowledgement and appreciation of the dedication, imagination, and tireless efforts that brought about the creation and world-wide growth of the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona."

 

Good Morning America Television Interview

Angel and his story are featured on Good Morning America

1992

Nightline Television Interview

Angel is featured on Nightline

1993

48 Hours Television Interview

Angel and his story are featured on 48 Hours

 

National Geograhic Explorer Television Interview

Angel and his story are featured on TBS National Geographic Explorer "Route 66 the Mother Road"

1996

Grand Canyon State Tourism Award

Angel receives a 1996 Grand Canyon State Tourism Award for his part in increasing tourism to Route 66 in Arizona

1997

National Geographic does Route 66!

The September 1997 issue of National Geographic features an 18 page spread on Angel, Juan and the Snow Cap, Seligman, and Route 66.  See our "Us In Print" page to see the article, and many others featuring Angel.

 

PBS Television Interview

Angel, Seligman, and the longest preserved stretch of Route 66 are featured on PBS "Great Drives on Route 66"

1999

History Channel

Angel and his story are featured on the History Channel

2000  Angel receives Steinbeck Award May 6, 2000

The National Historic Route 66 Federation awards Angel with the Steinbeck Award for beginning "the revival of Route 66".

   Arizona Speaker of the House honors Angel May 7, 2000

The Speaker of the House of Arizona, Jeff Groscost, presents an award to Angel "in recognition of your dedication to preserving Route 66 and your legendary contribution to the establishment of the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona."

 2001  Angel's story helps contribute to the storyline of "Cars" June 12, 2001

Pixar's John Lasseter visits Seligman on his Route 66 trip researching for his upcoming computer-animated movie CARS and interviews Angel about his life on Route 66. --Watch the "Inspiration for CARS" (a bonus feature on the CARS DVD or on our youtube channel)

 2003 Angel and the Delgadillo family are featured in a standing exhibit about Route 66 at the Smithsonian National Museum Of American History

The America on the Move exhibit opened at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in November 2003. The exhibition features a section called "The People's Highway" which chronicles how Route 66 affected the lives of certain families during the 1930s and 1940s.

  Angel is honored with a Culture Keeper Award 2003

The Arizona Historical Foundation awards Angel Delgadillo as an Arizona Culture Keeper for his participation in the preservation of Route 66, its history, and culture.

 2005 Arizona Governor presents Tourism Award to Angel

At the Governor's Tourism Awards of 2005, Governor Janet Napolitano presents Angel with a tourism award for "Arizona Preservation".

 2011 Billy Connolly Visits! May 28, 2011

Scottish comedian/actor, Billy Connolly, visits on his journey along Route 66. Connolly's Route 66 adventures on his trike was then made into a four part British documentary television series in which Angel, the barber shop, and the gift shop are featured in the fourth and final episode. Even more information about Angel is included in Billy's book: Billy Connolly's Route 66.

   Chevy Commercial featuring Angel becomes Finalist for 2012 Super Bowl December 2011

Country Music Artist, Trace Adkins narrates this beautifully filmed commercial about Angel, his 1965 Chevrolet truck, and Route 66. It is a wonderful tribute and a must watch.  See it on our Youtube Channel.

2015 Angel is awarded a Governor's Heritage Preservation Honor Award on Friday May 15, 2015

Angel was presented this award by the Arizona Preservation Foundation and Arizona State Historic Preservation Office of the Arizona State Parks to honor his outstanding achievements in preserving Arizona’s historic resources.

 

Angel inducted into the National Barber Hall of Fame

On September 23, 2015 Mr. Angel Delgadillo became the 63rd barber to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Barber Museum in Canal Winchester, Ohio. For more information to go the National Barber Hall of Fame Webpage

 

From the... CultureKeeper Award Picture given to Angel:

"Angel Delgadillo: The Angel of Route 66"

"Angel Delgadillo was not content to sit by and watch Seligman wither away after the new Interstate 40 bypassed it in 1978. He wanted to keep the culture of historic Route 66 and keep his community vital.

Angel was born in 1927, the same year the National Highway System was initiated. He watched as Route 66 became the main throroughfare for western migration, saw dust-bowl refugees raise the dust of the road on the way to Califonia in their Model T Fords, saw the road paved in the late '30s, watched as post-WWII migrants made for sunnier pastures, and saw vacationing families head for Disneyland throughout the '60s and '70s.

'Like a river flowing, it made us part of the world.' Angel says of the road. And he watched on September 22, 1978, as the new Inerstate opened and the traffic through Seligman was turned off as if a switch had been flipped. What had been 9,000 cars a day dwindle to 50.

When the town of Seligman stared to succumb to its new isolation, Angel took action. The answer, he said, lies right in front of us. In February 1987, he called together a meeting of business owners in the area and the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona was founded, with Angel as its first president. That same year he successfully lobbied the state legislature to dedicate the stretch of old highway from Seligman to Kingman as Historic Route 66. He worked tirelessly to attract media attention to the historic highway and the unique communities along it.

His efforts have been rewarded. Angel has been interviewed hundreds of times by media from all across America and Europe. Now people are diverting to Seligman and historic Route 66 as a destination and spending more time and money than they ever did when they were just driving through. the romance of America's Main Street has captured the fancy of millions of people, and it is largely due to the efforts of Angel Delgadillo, who insisted on keeping the culture."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sign up to our newsletter