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Push on to name Route 66 'historic trail'

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JACKSONVILLE — Two congressmen are trying to recognize the history of one of the nation's most storied roads.

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood of Illinois and U.S. Rep Grace Napolitano of California have reintroduced legislation to name Route 66 as a National Historic Trail.

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U.S. Route 66 was one of the first routes in the U.S. Highway System and known by such names as the Mother Road and Main Street of America. It originally went from Chicago to Santa Monica, California — a distance of 2,448 miles — and was the primary route for those traveling west from 1926 until it was removed from the highway system in 1985. It was memorialized in books like John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," television shows such as "Route 66" and most famously in the song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66."

LaHood said designating the route as a National Historic Trail would provide a permanent program to preserve, promote and develop it.

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