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Songs and Stories
     June 2, 2020      #6G-154 SsK

The Freedom Train visits Kankakee 

El tren de la libertad visita Kankakee

By Jack Klasey

In the late 1940s, a number of passenger trains stopped every day at Kankakee’s Illinois Central depot. Each would pause for a few minutes for perhaps a dozen passengers to board and a like number depart, then continue on to the next stop.

One train — on Thursday, July 15, 1948 — was different: it stopped here for 12 hours, and was boarded by nearly 11,000 people.

It was the “Freedom Train,” a diesel engine and seven cars, painted a bold red, white and blue, that carried a priceless cargo of original documents portraying America’s history. The ...

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Jack Klasey
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