75BD6READFGUDDS44J43BBCRPYThe Freedom Train and the Friendship train sit side-by-side in Harrisburg on Nov. 17, 1947.
The Friendship Train has a sign that says, "Food for friends" in English, French and Italian.

‘Two of the greatest post-war symbols of democracy in action’ in Harrisburg in 1947

 

From the Patriot News

The arrival of the Friendship Train in Harrisburg in 1947 prompted an outpouring of generosity from the people of central Pa.

School and civic groups, government and railroad workers and individuals dug deep to collect cash, flour, sugar, dried peas and canned milk for the people of France and Italy who needed help after World War II.

In the days leading up to the arrival of the train in Harrisburg, the collections took on a fever pitch. Daily updates and reports were printed on the front page of The Patriot.

OQDH3YTR7JEDLIBSIAC7NCHDDYThe Freedom and Friendship trains crossed paths in November 1947. Both trains were in Harrisburg at the same time for 12 hours. The Freedom Train was a celebration of patriotism while the Friendship Train was collecting donations for war-torn Italy and France.

On Nov. 12, 1947, the paper wrote a short story about a youngster from Mechanicsburg.

“Ten-year-old Joseph Kintz, 24 East Keller Street, Mechanicsburg, is a man of action.

Learning of the request for donations of food and cash for the Friendship Train’s visit to this area, he did something about it. Canvassing his neighborhood, he collected $6 and 15 cans of milk, then had his sister telephone for directions as to his next procedure.”

PLGUODKN6JHZ3C2RM53UAXXUKQFood is loaded onto the Friendship Train in Harrisburg in 1947. The goods collected were donated to war-torn France and Italy.

Another story gave this update: “Plans and projects for contributions to the Friendship Train, due here Sunday night, are in full swing throughout West Shore towns, Mechanicsburg, Carlisle and Chambersburg across the river, and in Steelton, Hummelstown and Lykens on this side.

Organizations such as women’s clubs, fraternal groups and service clubs are or will be asked to make contributions or offer help in the drive. Householders throughout this area will be approached within the next several days, if they have not been already, for contributions of cash, canned milk or other basic commodities.

Cash contributions from the area will be used to purchase a carload of wheat flour now being prepared by Spangler’s Mill in Lower Allen Twp.

Mechanicsburg pupils yesterday contributed $139.39 to buy supplies for the train in a solicitation sponsored by the Student Council of which Robert Davison, senior, is president. Elementary school children’s donations will be made today.

The ninth grade took top honors with contributions of $34.01. Other grades gave as follows: twelfth grade, $29.07; eleventh, $25.86; tenth, $31.67; eighth, $8.02; and seventh, $10.76.”

QRJSO72GY5HQPLHTT26W7USDGQThe Freedom and Friendship trains crossed paths in November 1947. Both trains were in Harrisburg at the same time for 12 hours. The Freedom Train was a celebration of patriotism while the Friendship Train was collecting donations for war-torn Italy and France.

As of Nov. 13, the Friendship Train committee had collected $3,712.88.

That was a significant amount considering that in 1947, the annual average income in the United States was $2,850. The value of $1 in 1947 would be $11.69 today.

A Wilson Park, Harrisburg, woman collected $21.25 in cash, nine pounds of flour, 10 pounds of sugar, 24 cans of milk and two pounds of dried peas.

Robert Snyder of the Snyder Salvage Company, Lemoyne, read about it while hospitalized and offered 15,000 wood export boxes to send the food to Europe.

Capitol Hill workers donated $805.98. 

Pennsylvania Railroad employees donated $50.

 

5FNQSQXSVVCQTGBXOJL2G4VM5UThe Freedom and Friendship trains crossed paths in November 1947. Both trains were in Harrisburg at the same time for 12 hours. The Freedom Train was a celebration of patriotism while the Friendship Train was collecting donations for war-torn Italy and France.

The Friendship Train was touring the United States, traveling from Los Angeles to New York, collecting donations. On Nov. 17 it arrived in Harrisburg on the same day as the Freedom Train, which also was touring. The two trains were here together for 12 hours. 

And it was a big deal.

According to The Evening News, 7,906 people braved frigid weather to stand in line to tour the Freedom Train while hundreds of people attended a ceremony to mark the meeting of the trains.

Hundreds more people were turned away after the Freedom Train closed after 12 hours.

Here is part of the story:

"Two of the greatest post-war symbols of democracy in action, the Freedom Train and the Friendship Train, met in Harrisburg, this morning, amid historic ceremonies that were broadcast to the world.

Cheers went up from hundreds in the Pennsylvania Railroad Station as the first cars of the famed Friendship Train nosed into the station to stand side-by-side with the train carrying the documents of this Nation's heritage.

CTGAP7FEEFCTDKGWGC5CXZZGKYThe Freedom and Friendship trains crossed paths in November 1947. Both trains were in Harrisburg at the same time for 12 hours. People stood in line to tour the Freedom Train, which was a celebration of patriotism. The Friendship Train was collecting donations for war-torn Italy and France.

Newsreel cameramen and broadcasters were on hand to record the meeting of the trains symbolizing this Country’s long battle for freedom and the unlimited generosity of a citizenry responding to appeals for aid from those who are now fighting for preservation of the democratic ideals.

As the 51-car section, one of four carrying food for the hungry of France and Italy, pulled out for Lancaster at 9:20, spectators saw in front the nine carloads donated by the people of Harrisburg and other central Pennsylvania communities."

PL33KLH66NEAPLCWAX6ZCYHHGAThe Freedom and Friendship trains crossed paths in November 1947. Both trains were in Harrisburg at the same time for 12 hours. The Freedom Train was a celebration of patriotism while the Friendship Train was collecting donations for war-torn Italy and France.

The Freedom Train, according to www.freedomtrain.org and Larry Wines, “was conceived as an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of American citizenship at a time when the nation was finding a new and central role in world affairs. Americans had experienced a decade of pre-war economic Depression. They made sacrifices in foreign lands throughout World War II. ... With President Harry Truman in the lead, some in the national government believed Americans should pause and reflect, to experience a ‘rededication’ to the principles that founded their country.”

Inside the Freedom Train were historical displays and artifacts.

5JM3H57KI5EYNGSU3WH5UZNHWUThe Freedom Train and the Friendship train sit side-by-side in Harrisburg on Nov. 17, 1947. The Friendship Train has a sign that says, "Food for friends" in English, French and Italian.

ND3ISKJIAVHHFEMCOZTS44S6OQThe Freedom and Friendship trains crossed paths in November 1947. Both trains were in Harrisburg at the same time for 12 hours. The Freedom Train was a celebration of patriotism while the Friendship Train was collecting donations for war-torn Italy and France.

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