The Freedom Train

Authored by Candyce Valor

Taken during the Freedom Train Tour October 19, 1948, this photo illustrates anticipation to explore the traveling archival exhibit visiting their small community in Red Bank, NJ. The Freedom Train traveled from September 1947 to January 22, 1949 through many cities in 48 states to provide all people in the community the chance to view historical documents and artifacts.

The journey of the Freedom Train Tour started in Philadelphia on September 17, 1947, on the 160th signing anniversary of the United States Constitution. The seven-car train traveled thirty-seven thousand miles utilizing 52 different railroads with Presidential priority across the United States (Wines, n.d.). The initial tour consisted of 326 city stops (Wines, n.d.). The goal of the Freedom Train Tour was to bring historical documents to those not able to visit the National Archive in Washington DC. The funding for the Freedom Train could not be generated from Congress. The American Heritage Foundation was founded to garner financial and infrastructure support of the Freedom Tour (Wines, n.d.).

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