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The city of Cuba is in Crawford County, Missouri. Founded in anticipation of the southern branch of the Union Pacific Railroad being extended to the area in 1957, the town was named for the island of Cuba, which was often in the news during that time. Iron ore mining was a significant component of the city’s economy for a half a century. When the railroad arrived in 1860, the town became a local shipping center, and apple growing became a local industry. When Route 66 was completed through Cuba in 1931, many of its businesses moved to be closer to the new highway, while new businesses began to spring up, particularly motels, gas stations, and restaurants, some of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. President Harry S. Truman visited Cuba during a tour of US Route 66, and Bette Davis and Amelia Earhart were there during the Viva Cuba Mural Project. The section of highway that was formerly US Route 66 is now US Highway 44. Cuba is northeast of Fanning, north of Idlewild, southwest of Hofflins, and south of Oak Hill. The Mark Twain National Forest is to the southwest and southeast of Cuba.


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