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#comicbooks history

Here comes the Freedom Train, you better hurry down
Just like a Paul Revere, its coming in to your home town

I first learned about The Freedom Train of 1947 through comic books
American history had similar things before and after 1947 - there would be another official American Freedom Train for the Bicentennial, and the Civil Rights movement had Freedom Riders, and the Underground Railroad has been called the Freedom Train.

Freedom - powerful word
The Allies had won WWII, and the Axis Powers of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan were defeated.

Then what?

What do you do after you've had a Hot Time in the Town of Berlin?
American comics books had been All In the war effort

Patriots in the red white and blue had mighty adventures and reminded everyone to buy war stamps and war bonds, and that loose lips sink ships.

(Caution: Racial Stereotyping a'plenty)
After the war, some people grew concerned that Americans were taking their liberties for granted.

What came about was the idea to take the documents from the National Archives in Washington DC, put them on a train, and ride the rails celebrating American values
The Freedom Train:

"Indoctrination in democracy is ... needed to blend our various groups into one American family. Without it, we could not sustain ... our way of life. [This is], preaching Americanism is an affirmative declaration of our faith in ourselves

- A.G. Tom Clark
A group was formed to decide what to put on the Freedom Train of 1947

Choices were made on what documents to include, or how to put them in context. Choices we may not agree with today.
#comicbooks history

I first learned about the 1947 Freedom Train from a comic book.

To sell the train to America of 1947, comic books were one of the staples (😀) of how to reach the people. So were radio, comic strips and cereal boxes
#comicbooks history

Here is the PSA in a comic - first time on the internet as far as I know.

A story about Thomas Jefferson and Religious Freedom for Virginians

You owe it to yourself to see it when the Freedom Train comes to your home town
The Freedom Train of 1947 got its own Irving Berlin song, sung by Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters for All Star Americana.

Inside the Freedom Train
You'll find a precious freight
Those words of liberty
The documents that made us great
DC comics helped advertise the Freedom Train in issue 41 of All Star Comics, starring the Justice Society of America

#comicbook fans will recognize some famous names
#comicbooks history

The 1947 Freedom Train comes to Gotham City
#comicbooks history

The Freedom Train is hijacked. After some comic book shenanigans, the Justice Society is on the case.

They tackle it like they tackle *every* problem.
Hey Gang! Let's separate!
#comicbooks history

Wait - why is the Liberty Bell called the Freedom Bell?
Why is it in Independence City and not Philadelphia?

This story is before the Earth-1 / Earth-2 stuff DC comics would later put together

Its just how DC comics rolls
The villains in the story have stolen more than the Freedom Train - even Plymouth Rock!

The heroes win (with help from the Golden Age Harlequin - no relation to modern Harley Quinn...I think)
#comicbooks history

Captain Marvel also has a Freedom Train dedicated issue - CMA 85

By the way, the All Star Comics issue was reprinted in the 1970s, and this Captain Marvel Adventures is on Digital Comics Museum as public domain.

Close your CC Beck eyes and let's roll!
This is pure golden Captain Marvel as he fights for The Freedom Train of 1947

Dr Sivana - "I hate freedom! I stand for tyranny! heh heh heh"
#comicbooks history

Dr Sivana's direct attack on the Freedom Train fails (curses! Foiled again!), so he goes for Plan T - T for Time Travel.

Dr Sivana is going to change the Declaration of Independence into the Declaration of Dictatorship! heh heh heh
Well, Dr Sivana's first attempt goes up in flames, but the Big Red Cheese seems to be having some issues with the local redcoat hating constabulary

Call my solicitor!
Dr Sivanas next time traveling attempt to undo American Freedoms is absolute brilliance!

Come on - who hasn't looked at that portrait of Washington crossing the Delaware and said "Sit down, you're rockin' the boat"
Dr Sivana - card carrying villain
Captain Marvel tells us about the Freedom Pledge

Free to Speak without Fear
Free to Worship my own God
Free to Stand for what I think is Right
Free to Oppose what I believe Wrong
Free to Choose those who govern my Country
There were more comics that helped advertise the 1947 Freedom Train

Here's Joe Palooka

Honestly, I cannot recommend anyone reading this due to the harsh racial stereotyping.
Lots of Comic strips got into the Freedom Train too
You can learn more about the 1947 Freedom Train at freedomtrain.org
The 1947 Freedom Train prompted poet Langston Hughes to pen quite the poem.

If my children ask me Daddy please explain
why there are Jim Crow stations for the Freedom Train
What shall I tell my children? You tell me
Cause Freedom ain't Freedom when a man ain't free
The 1947 Freedom Train toured along the tracks of the USA, pulled by an ALCO PA Diesel Electric locomotive. These were brand new models of American made locomotives were a partnership of American Locomotive and General Electric.
In September 1947, the Truman administration announced the Freedom Train would be desegregated. This caused issues in places like Memphis and Birmingham, where the stops were cancelled.

See …ring-black-history.blogs.archives.gov/2017/09/19/the… for details
Two more comic strips to make the 1947 Freedom Train an event for each of the cities it visited.

There was backlash on everything from consumerism to civil rights.
Visitors viewing some of the documents aboard the 1947 Freedom Train. Marines were on board to provide security.
The 1947 Freedom Train was to help venerate select sentiments - here we see the Freedom Pledge and a pamphlet on citizenship
Newspaper articles on the coming of the 1947 Freedom Train.
In conversing with @Tybird99 , we can tie in the 1947 Freedom Train to other big events.

In 1947, Truman declares 'The Truman Doctrine'. The Freedom Train easily ties in as a PR campaign to support the new major policy that launches the Cold War
The 1947 Freedom Train rides the rails through the Fall of 1947, all through 1948, and into 1949. During that trip, Truman signs the Marshall Plan, the Democratic Party splits with the Dixiecrats, and Truman ends racial segregation in the Armed Forces
Perhaps piggybacking on the PR of the Freedom Train, Truman launches a 'whistlestop campaign' on a train. Despite every poll and indication, Truman wins. In December of 1948, the UN General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Freedom Train must have left a big enough impression that America did it again about 30 years later for its Bicentennial. We'll look at Comic Books and the Bicentennial some other day

#Comicbooks history - see Bill Maher what you can learn from a comic book
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