Merci Train Memorial Historical

Merci Train Memorial Historical (HM1TJC)

Location: Jackson, MS 39201 Hinds County
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Country: United States of America
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N 32° 17.91', W 90° 10.748'

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History of the Merci Train

—40 & 8 Boxcar —

Frequently referred to as "40 & 8" cars because of their capacity to carry "40 men or 8 horses," the boxcars were built beginning in the 1870s and used in both World Wars to transport troops and supplies. Each of the cars of the Merci Train was adorned with coats of arms of the provinces of France and filled with offerings from the French people as a heart-felt thank you to America for its aid to France during WWII. The 49 cars that composed the Merci Train arrived in New York harbor aboard the ship Magellan on February 3, 1949. Because the wheel-base of the French boxcars was too narrow for American rail tracks, they were transported to the various states by flatcar. This boxcar came to Jackson via a circuitous route on different rail lines through the states of Virginia,
North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.

Following a brief stop and transfer to the Illinois Central rail line in Meridian, Mississippi, the boxcar given to the state of Mississippi by France arrived in Jackson at 4:00 pm on February 12, 1949. Dignitaries on hand to receive the Merci train included Mississippi Governor Fielding L. Wright, Jackson Mayor Allen C. Thompson, Mississippi Department of Archives and History Director Dr. William D. McCain and the French Consul-General to New Orleans Lionel Vasse. Among the myriad gifts packed
into the railcar were paintings, drawings, handmade clothing, lace, dolls, medals, musical instruments, flags, candlesticks, and letters. They were displayed for two weeks at the Central Farmer's Market on Woodrow Wilson Drive, attracting large crowds of visitors, and were later distributed to appropriate institutions and organizations throughout Mississippi. Items given to the Department of Archives and History, some of which are pictured, remain in the museum's collections.
Year Placed2013
Placed ByState of Mississippi Department of Archives & History
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, August 7th, 2016 at 9:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 765625 N 3577018
Decimal Degrees32.29850000, -90.17913333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 17.91', W 90° 10.748'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 17' 54.6" N, 90° 10' 44.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)601
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 648-698 E Pearl St, Jackson MS 39201, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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