On of the railroad traditions of Manassas was that it was on the route of Southern Railway's Fast Mail train No. 97. The "Fast Mails" were a 19th century creation of the railroads and the U.S. Post Office Department to expedite long distance mail delivery. No. 97 operated from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, Georgia and had priority over other passenger and freight traffic on the line. On September 27, 1903, a few hours after departing Manassas, Fast Mail 97 derailed in a fatal accident north of Danville, Virginia. Postal clerks Lewis W. Spies of Manassas and Daniel Flory of Nokesville were on-board the ill-fated train. Both died from the wreck while working to assure that "the mail must go through." In 1924, the song "The Wreck of the Old 97," recorded by Vernon Dalhart, memorialized this tragedy and became the first record to sell over a million copies.