Springfield is the third largest city in the state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area has a population of 436,712 and includes the counties of Christian, Dallas, Greene, Polk and Webster. Springfield's nickname is the Queen City of the Ozarks and is known as the Birthplace of Route 66 as well as the home of several universities including Missouri State University.
Springfield’s economy is based on health care, manufacturing, retail, education and tourism. With a Gross Metropolitan Product of $13.66 billion in 2004, Springfield's economy makes up 6.7% of the Gross State Product of Missouri.
Total retail sales exceed $4.1 billion a year in Springfield and $5.8 billion in the Springfield MSA. Its largest shopping mall is Battlefield Mall. According to the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, an estimated three million overnight visitors and millions of day-trippers visit the city annually. The city has more than 60 lodging facilities and 6,000 hotel rooms. The Convention & Visitors Bureau spends more than $1 million annually marketing the city as a travel destination.
Two major American Christian denominations are based in Springfield: General Council of the Assemblies of God in the United States of America (one of the largest of the Pentecostal denominations) and Baptist Bible Fellowship International (a fundamentalist Baptist denomination with roots to J. Frank Norris).
Birthplace of Route 66Edit
John T. Woodruff of Springfield was elected as the first president of the U.S. Highway 66 Association. It was organized in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1927. Its purpose was to get U.S. 66 paved from end to end and to promote tourism on the highway. In 1938, Route 66 became the first completely paved United States Numbered Highways in America. Called the “Mother Road”, it stretched from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Coast.
A placard in Park Central Square was dedicated to the city by the Route 66 Association of Missouri. Traces of the Mother Road are still visible in Downtown Springfield along Kearney Street, Glenstone Avenue, College and St. Louis streets and on Missouri 266 to Halltown. The red booths and gleaming chrome in mom and pop diners, the stone cottages of tourist courts and the many service stations along this route saw America fall in love with the automobile. Red's Giant Hamburg, said to be the birthplace of the drive-up order window, was located on the route.
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- United States Census Results 2010
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- "The Role of Metro Areas in the U.S. Economy" (PDF). U.S. Conference of Mayors. March 2006. p. 119. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
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- "preservation issues: Route 66 Celebrates 66th!" (PDF). dnr.mo.gov. 1992-05-06. Retrieved 2010-07-30.