Friendship Train

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A crowd estimated by police at 25,000, at  City Hall Plaza welcoming the Friendship Train to New York, Nov 18, 1947. The train, after a nation-wide tour collecting foodstuffs for needy Europeans.

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Mayor O'Dwyer addresses a crowd of children about the importance of the Friendship Food Train, which is ending its journey across the US in New York City. No people in the world have show this level of a desire to alleviate the pains of the people of the world. The food in the train is a material symbol of our desire to ease the pain of the people of Italy and France. Appreciation of the unselfish behavior of participating children. Introduces Ambassador Warren Austin (whom he's sure the children want to meet). The friendship food train is an example of "peace mongering."

Drew Pearson updates those in attendance on the success of the trip. There are far more cars than they'd expected. This has been by-and-far the American people; it's been magnificent to see the teamwork. Examples of some donations.

An unidentified speaker (Whalen?) tells the audience he thinks NYC will be the best donors of the whole drive. The crowd cheers. He reads a letter from the foreign minister of France. The counsel general of France, Ludovic Chancel, accepts the donation and thanks the Mayor.

The Mass Band (Police, Fire, and Sanitation) plays French National Anthem.

Signora Alberto Tarchiano, wife of the Italian Ambassador, speaks for her husband and describes riding on the friendship train. She repeats (?) a part of her speech in Italian. Italian Consul General Luigi Nardi thanks Drew Pearson for his work. Compares the friendship train to ancient Greeks passing on a torch of solidarity. Discusses the condition of life in Italy after the war and a bad farming season.

The Mass Band plays the Italian National Anthem.

Whalen (?) thanks everyone for coming. Cowan closes the program.

For more on the Friendship Train please see:

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71650
Municipal archives id: LT2424