Merci Train - Related Links
Tabatha Butler has recently established an excellent website about the Merci Train history in Idaho and she has also reported on some of the history of the train, its boxcars, and the gift of gratitude collections in other states.
I, Earl Bennett, found it very interesting and informative and recommend a visit to the website idahomercitrain.omeka.net/.
I recently received, as a gift from the author, and read a wonderful novel for Junior High school age children about the history of the Friendship Train. Linda Baten Johnson is a person who loves to tell stories and a master of the art of weaving together the facts of history and the fictional characters she has created to help her make the history memorable to her audience. Although her intended audience is juniors, I am 80 years old and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the time I spent reading the book.
Here is a link to her website, lindabatenjohnson.com, which tells where the book may be purchased.
Members of La Societie des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux, (roughly translated to English: The Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses) have been caretakers of most of the Merci Train boxcars since their arrival in the United States back in 1949, soon to be 60 years. They are to be greatly admired for their dedication to the memory of Americans who sacrificed so much during World Wars One and Two.They consider the boxcars a symbol to remind themselves, and all of us, of those 20th century patriots and heroes and of their sacrifices. To learn more about them visit these web sites.
A great site with a nice interactive feature, history of gifts to the state and copies of the shields on the outside of the boxcar.
Link to Dorothy Scheele's Friendship Train history, chronicling the 1947 action of Americans that gave the French cause for responding with the Merci Train.