MSS 0440 - Merci Train collection

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The idea for the Friendship Train originated in 1947 against the backdrop of war-torn Europe. In that year, American newspaper columnist Drew Pearson conceived the plan of a grass-roots humanitarian effort that would assist the Marshall Plan in providing aid to the countries of France and Italy. In response, a French railroad worker, André Picard, initiated the Merci (or Gratitude) Train as a way of thanking American citizens for their generosity. After landing in New York, the train made stops in each state leaving a boxcar of gifts. These items were then dispersed to libraries, state institutions, schools, and individual citizens. Among the items distributed in Newark were these to the University of Delaware Library: three manuscripts, spanning the years 1936-1948, that comprise this small Merci Train Collection. Consisting of .33 linear feet, the manuscripts included in this collection were written and donated by A. Carriere of Millau, Aveyron, France. Also included is a handwritten letter of gratitude to the American people by the author.

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