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This installment in the Slow Travels Series explores four of the U.S. Highways as they travel through varied regions of the State of Missouri. U.S. Highway 50 follows the route of the Lincoln Highway through the center of the state, connecting the two largest cities, St. Louis and Kansas City, through the state capital of Jefferson City. U.S. Highway 61 follows the great river, the Mississippi, along the eastern edge of the state. This area includes the territory fought over by the colonial powers of France, Spain, and Great Britain, and the varied settlements which consequently developed. U.S. Highway 66 retraces the Mother Road, also referred to as America's Main Street and Route 66. This route travels a northeast to southwest path, once named the Old Wire Road for the early telegraph line which connected St. Louis to Springfield and Joplin. U.S. Highway 71 travels the western edge of the state through the violent history of the Civil War, fought mainly between civilian forces of Missouri and Kansas. Missouri's history has been defined by its varied geography (the height of the Ozarks to the bottoms of the Mississippi) and by the diverse ethnic backgrounds of its settlers.