Route 66

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Just in time for summer, the Missouri History Museum is taking a road trip down Route 66 with a colorful exhibit on the Mother Road that opens Saturday.

Provided by The Coliseum Ballroom Documentary Project

They’ll be rocking to the oldies Saturday night at the civic center in Gillespie, Ill., where a crowd of a certain age will gather to share memories of the old Coliseum Ballroom, which was destroyed by fire in 2011.

Don Harder, Flickr, Creative Commons

A funding crunch is looming and will impact preservation efforts surrounding Route 66 — the historic roadway that stretches from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California and passes straight through St. Louis, Missouri. Evangelists for the “Main Street of America” are doubling down on efforts to secure new funding for the highway.

A 1941 Packard 120 Convertible starts the Great Race in Kirkwood, Mo. Saturday, June 20, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds of people lined the streets of downtown Kirkwood Saturday to see 130 classic cars start an eight-day, 2,400 mile journey along Route 66.

The cars — and their drivers — are competing in the 33rd annual Great Race, a competition judged on arriving at set checkpoints at pre-ordained times. The Grand Champion will be awarded $50,000 after they cross the finish line in Santa Monica, Calif.

(Courtesy: Chaumette Vineyards & Winery)

Ok folks, it’s a good weekend for a road trip. We’ve got Superman, French Heritage and a celebration of Route 66.

(Courtesy Lemp Mansion)

The open road. Curving, meandering highways. Roadside diners and trips to remember yesteryear. These are the types of images most often associated with Route 66.

But in addition to tourists and explorers, some unsavory characters have lived and traveled along the roads that became Missouri's Route 66. Author Lisa Livingston-Martin tells their stories in her new book, Missouri's Wicked Route 66: Outlaws and Gangsters on the Mother Road.