1976 American Freedom Train

Launched on the 200th anniversary of the USA, the American Freedom Train traveled the country carrying artifacts that represent what America is and was.

My very best friend, a GM executive at the time, was on the board of the American Freedom Train, and his greatest thrill was to drive one of the locomotives! I actually have a copy of this promo on VHS tape.

The American Freedom Train was a 26-car train led by one of three steam engines restored just for the occasion. Over a 21 month period from April 1, 1975 to December 31, 1976 more than 7 million Americans visited the train during its tour of all 48 continental states. Millions more people stood and waited for it to pass by. It was by far the greatest event on rails since the end of the steam era, and the uniquely magnificent vehicle that brought America’s Bicentennial celebration to the people.


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12 Responses to 1976 American Freedom Train

  1. Menagerie says:

    My husband and I graduated high school in 1976.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jtrstill says:

    DH spent 1976 Bi-centennial in NY City. His ship had come into port for the celebration, and he had so much fun. Of course this was 12 years before we met, so.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. auscitizenmom says:

    I would have enjoyed seeing that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. auscitizenmom says:

    Absolutely amazing the amount of work that had to go into putting that together. It must have been pretty fantastic.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. czarowniczy says:

    I do believe I mentioned this before but I spent July 4th, 1976 at the hospital in Utah where my last son was born early that evening. At dark I took my other two sons ( 10 and 8 then) across the street to the park at the college where the city held a huge fireworks display. In all an eventful day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. czarowniczy says:

    I didn’t get to see the Tall Ship gathering in NYC in ’76 but for some reason (probably the ’84 World’s Fair, we can’t remember) we had one long sago in NOLA. We sat downriver on the levee by our house and we were lucky, it was right where the ships gathered and trimmed their sales and the sailors got into the rigging to ride the rigging into the port.

    They chose that area as it was just north of the super-high-tension power lines that crossed the Mississippi (didn’t want to risk a discharge into the ships with the sailors on the masts) but south of the Navy base at Algiers and the big ships wanted to salute it. That was impressive.

    There wasn’t as many ships as in the ’76 display but there were many of the same ships, all of the mooring spaces along the Riverwalk were full and they had to press others into use. They also had a smaller but still impressive Tall Ships gathering in NOLA in 2018 for the city’s tricentennial.

    Liked by 3 people

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