The time America put its national treasures on a cross-country train

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An elderly woman, a former slave, reading the Emancipation Proclamation in a glass case on the Freedom Train.

Image: Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Between 1947 and 1949, America’s most treasured documents crisscrossed the length and breadth of the nation, on board a train — the “Freedom Train.”

The idea for the remarkable train had come to William Coblenz of the Public Information division of the Department of Justice, during his lunch hour. Perusing an exhibition at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., Coblenz was saddened that most Americans would never see the great documents of American history. Read more…

More about Us World, Us, American History, and History

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