Freedom Train rolls through Havre de Grace

harford history

October 26, 2008

On Oct. 26, 1948, the first train to visit all 48 contiguous states made its last stop in Havre de Grace. The train carried original versions of the United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, as well as the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address and a rare copy of the Magna Carta. Some of the 127 items displayed at 326 stops have never left Washington, D.C., since their ride on the train. The Freedom Train covered 37,160 miles over tracks belonging to 52 different railroads. More than 3 million people visited the train, at many stops waiting hours to board and view the treasures. Conceived by President Harry S. Truman and Attorney General Tom Clark, the train crossed America beginning in 1947 in order to help citizens rededicate themselves to the principles of democracy and liberty upon which the country was founded.

Source: Images of America: Havre de Grace, by Bill Bates; www.freedomtrain.org. Compiled by the staff of the Harford County Public Library

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