1947 - 1949 FREEDOM TRAIN
AND UNIQUE CARGO
Train was temporary home to America's most precious documents and
other unique treasures, including the Declaration of Independence,
the Bill of Rights, one of the 13 original copies of the Constitution,
the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, the Iwo Jima
flag, the German and Japanese surrender documents that ended World
War II, and much more.
Among the 127
documents and six historical flags on board, the Freedom Train held
dozens of treasures that were the earliest inspirations for the
American experience. Some of these were from a distant and oppressive
age, when there was little precedent for the rights of ordinary
Train's displayed cargo included a precious original of the Magna
Carta, written in the year 1215 as the first guarantee of the individual
Rights of Englishmen that a King could not deny.
documents of freedom included the first guarantees of individual
rights to free expression and the practice of religion, dating from
Colonial times. Much that was displayed aboard the train has never
left Washington D.C. before or since. Some historic materials -
and their presence aboard the train - were shockingly ahead of their
time, proclaiming and celebrating Rights and Equality for Women,
and Racial Equality (see the next topic on this page).
These and other
historic symbols were reminders of the vital contributions of all
of America's citizens, of "Rosy the Riveter" and millions of others
whose contributions on the home front and in industry had enabled
the victory over oppression in World War II. It was a time when
everyone was keenly aware just how precious freedom is, and the
price Americans have paid to keep it.
Text by Mr.
to Freedom Train...