AMERICAN NOTES: Whither the Freedom Train?

Last spring a venerable steam locomotive pulling 25 red, white and blue cars chugged out of Wilmington, Del., on a 17,000-mile, two-year Bicentennial tour of the U.S. It was the American Freedom Train, a private, nonprofit project financed through $5 million in gifts from five U.S. corporations and billed as "a birthday gift to the American people." The train carried a somewhat indiscriminate array of American artifacts: George Washington's copy of the Constitution, the agreement for the Louisiana Purchase, Will Rogers' lariat, Judy Garland's dress from the Wizard of Oz and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's size 16 basketball shoes.

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