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Star Power

Promotion of the AFT got some star power, courtesy of public service announcements (PSAs) produced by Ralph Weisinger's Avon Productions.

Weisinger had been instrumental in the financing of the AFT and now turned to his vocation as a member of the Directors Guild of America to help the effort.

Tennessee Ernie Ford (pictured, upper image) was the first to make a PSA for the Foundation, followed in short order by Johnny Cash (lower image) and Lady Bird Johnson.

Cash gave a benefit concert for the train in Tempe AZ, much as Mike Love of the Beach Boys had done in Omaha, NE.

American Freedom Train Tennessee Ernie Ford

 

 
 

Other notables associated with the AFT:

President Gerald Ford inaugurated the AFT at Alexandria, VA in December 1974 (speaking from the back platform of the Preamble Express).

Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner sang "Here Comes the Freedom Train" especially for the AFT.

Merle Haggard, a lifelong railfan, would later record the same song.

Hank Aaron visited the train in Detroit and greeted the 1,000,000th visitor.

Hubert Humphrey and Fritz Mondale rode the train into Minneapolis.

Mickey Mouse and astronaut Buzz Aldrin visited the train in Anaheim.

Mamie Eisenhower rode the train from her home in Gettysburg.

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American Freedom Train Chevy Blazer Johnny Cash

 

 

 

 
       
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