Some may not be too familiar with the Bankhead Highway which runs thru both Midland and Odessa but if you have seen this little stretch of road at some point, here is how it got its name.

All my life I was always told that the Bankhead Highway was named after Tallulah Bankhead who was a popular silent film actress from 1919 to 1922 which is about the time period when highways were being built across America.

This turns out not to be completely true. While the highway was not named for her, it was named for her grandfather, John H. Bankhead, who was a leader in the early road-building movement across the nation.

The highway used to run non-stop from San Diego, California to Washington, D.C., and the parts that remain in the Midland/Odessa area were a part of the original highway through the area.

When US Highway 80 was built, which the Bankhead Highway used through most of Texas, there were pieces of the original highway that went through some towns that were not made a part of the new Highway 80.

The Bankhead Highway in Odessa runs along the northside of the Odessa Country Club, while the part that runs through Midland runs just a little bit south of what used to be the old Highway 80 and Business Highway 80 and merges back into the old Business Highway 80 which is now Wall Street or Texas Spur 268.

So even though I was told the wrong information about the highway's name all my life, it was not totally wrong since the highway was named after the grandfather of silent film actress Tallulah Bankhead.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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