French Gratitude Train photographs
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In 1949, the French sent a response to express their gratitude to the American people in the form of the Merci Train, also known as the French Gratitude Train. Composed of 49 cars and filled with "gifts of gratitude," the train arrived in New York City by ship on February 3, 1949, and was divided amongst the 48 states with the remaining car to be shared by the District of Columbia and Hawaii. The gifts included original and reproduced paintings, sculptures, ornamental objects, fashion, and historical artifacts, as well as dolls, furniture, clothing, and flags. Each boxcar contained 5 tons of gifts donated by private French and Italian citizens. Some items, including the decorated boxcars, ended up in museums and memorials, while other items were distributed to American citizens themselves.
Mitchell, Dawn. "After World War II, the Merci Train brought heartfelt thank-you gifts from France to Indiana." IndyStar, September 28, 2018. Accessed November 30, 2021. https://www.indystar.com/story/news/history/retroindy/2018/09/28/post-wwii-merci-train-brought-thank-you-gifts-france-indiana-history/1305473002.
Pearson, Drew. "The Second Big Friendship Train Is Rolling." Ventura County Star (CA), November 21, 1947. Accessed November 30, 2021. Newspapers.com.
Wikipedia. "Friendship Train." Wikipedia.org. Accessed November 30, 2021. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendship_Train.
Wikipedia. "Merci Train." Wikipedia.org. Accessed November 30, 2021. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merci_Train.
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