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49 Days of Gratitude Parade Saturday

Rail CarIn February of 1949, the people of France donated 49 rail cars, one to each U.S. state and another to be shared between the territory of Hawaii and Washington, D.C.

These cars, filled with French goods and handmade items, were a gift of thanks to the American people for post-World War II recovery efforts. It was called the Gratitude Train, or Merci Train.

North Carolina’s Merci car resides at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer. In honor of the 70th anniversary of the arrival of North Carolina’s Merci boxcar in Raleigh, the N.C. Transportation Museum is partnering with local businesses and organizations to plan celebrations with the themes of World War II, French culture, and most of all, gratitude.

See the North Carolina Merci Train car and actual gifts given by the French people, learn about the Gratitude Train that inspired the Merci Train, and much more.