Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
American Freedom Train
The American Freedom Train was a special exhibit train that toured the United States in the latter half of the 1940s, and again with different equipment for the United States Bicentennial celebrations. Both trains were painted in special red, white and blue paint schemes, and both toured the 48 contiguous states with displays of Americana and related historical artifacts. The two trains took different routes around the 48 states, but they both stopped for public displays in each of them.
The 1947-49 American Freedom Train
The train carried the original versions of the United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights on its tour of more than 300 cities in all 48 states. As Alaska and Hawaii didn't gain statehood until 1959, this train toured all of the US States that existed at the time.
The train's first public display stop occurred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 17 1947. From there, the train traveled in a route that took it up to New England, down the Atlantic coast to Florida, across the nation's southern states to California, up the Pacific coast to Washington, then across the northern states to Minnesota. After touring the perimeter of the nation, the train moved inland from Minnesota to Colorado then Kansas and Missouri, north to Wisconsin, then south to the Ohio River valley, north again to Michigan and finally east to New Jersey. The train's official tour end occurred on January 22 1949 in Washington, DC, nearly three months after its last public display October 26 1948 in Havre de Grace, Maryland.
The 1975-76 American Freedom Train
A second American Freedom Train toured the country in 1975–1976 to commemorate the United States Bicentennial. This train was powered by newly restored Southern Pacific 4449 , a 4-8-4 steam locomotive that is still operating in special excursion service today.
The second train's tour began April 1 1975 in Wilmington, Delaware. The train then traveled northeast to New England, west through Pennsylvania, Ohio to Michigan, then around Lake Michigan to Illinois and Wisconsin. From the Midwest, the tour continued westward, zigzagging across the plains to Utah and then up to the Pacific Northwest. From Seattle, Washington, the tour then traveled south along the Pacific coast to southern California. The train and crew spent Christmas 1975 in Pomona, California, decorating the locomotive with a large profile of Santa Claus on the front of the smokebox above the front coupler. For 1976, the tour continued from southern California eastward through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, then turned north to visit Kansas and Missouri before traveling through the Gulf Coast states and then north again to Pennsylvania. The tour continued southeast to New Jersey then south along the Atlantic coast before finally ending December 26 1976 in Miami, Florida.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details