The Lincoln Highway
National Museum & Archives
102 Old Lincoln Way West
Galion, Ohio 44833

(202) 536-5329

1947--The Freedom Train--1949
Donald Hardisty
1,500,000th Visitor
Butte, Montana

From The Desk of Don Hardisty

Last week I was elated to receive a phone call from Craig Harmon,
Director of the Lincoln National Museum & Archives.

I was pleased to again be recognized as
"The 1,500,000 Visitor"
to have seen the Freedom Train when it stopped
in Butte, Montana over 60 years ago.

After talking with Mr Harmon,
 and hearing the enthusiasm and interest
that he expressed in finding another of the original
“One in a Million,” 
I began to search through years of memorabilia.

I found the original newspaper clippings
that appeared in the local
Butte Daily Post
April 17, 1948
The Montana Standard
the following morning.

The article shows the officers presenting 
an autographed copy of the
Heritage of Freedom
hardbound book.

Over the years,
I had affixed the first page of the book
to the newspaper clippings containing the signatures of
The Train Director, Walter H. S. O’Brien of St. Louis,
and Marine Lt. Col Robert F. Scott, Blacksburg, S. C.,
commanding officer of the train.
 This collage can be seen below. 

Searching back further,
I found a copy of the
1948 Butte High School ‘Bulldog’ Annual
where many fellow students and teachers
had taken the opportunity to recognize
"That I had, indeed, been singled out"
from the group of anxious citizens waiting in line
to view the wonders to be found in the Freedom Train.

Here is one quote inscribed in the book:
“May our 1,500, 000 citizen be ever a worthy citizen of our great country in everyway.”
(Signed Anna J. English, my English Teacher at Butte High School).

The excitement that was recorded in the local news release has lived to this day. 
I believe an historical understanding and pictorial perspective of the founding
of America may be an important link missing in the minds of so many of our citizens.

Freedom and love of country are often taken for granted.

When I viewed these original documents of American Liberty in the Freedom Train,
I began to envision the basis on which the founders built this great nation.
Their aspirations and dreams came alive.

  Freedom can be lost,
thus, we must search for knowledge
and be vigilant in protecting our heritage.

 It is hard to realize it was sixty years ago
The Freedom Train
traveled to every one of the 48 states.

This Butte, Montana high school sophomore’s
understanding of liberty was greatly influenced.

I know that same patriotic fervor continues to impact my life.

Dr. Donald M Hardisty
3020 Majestic Ridge
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88011

October 12, 2008

April 16, 1948
Butte, MT
1947--The Freedom Train--1949
Donald Hardisty
1,500,000 Visitor

April 16, 1948
Butte, MT

Butte, MT - April 16, 1948
The 1,500,000th Visitor to the Freedom Train Exhibit
is being presented "Heritage of Freedom" by
Lt Col. Robert F. Scott, USMC, CO of the Marine Detachment.
L to R: Lt Col R.F Scott, USMC, Don Hardisty
(1,500,000 Millionth Visitor) Mr. Walter H.S. O'brien,
& Captain John Skorich, USMC.

1948--The Freedom Train-1948
Don Hardisty
The 1,500,000th Visitor

Heritage of Freedom
Signed to Don Hardisty
April 18, 1948

Click to View
Complete Document
1 Page

Letter From General Scott
To Don Hardisty
March 9, 1974

Click to View
Complete Document
3 Pages

News Feature On General Scott
The Tullahoma News
February 1974

Click to View
Complete Article
5 Pages

Click on Hyperlink to View Image

1948--The Freedom Train-1948
Don Hardisty
The 1,500,000th Visitor
1 Arpril 16, 1948 Butte Daily Post Butte Youth, 15, 1,500,000 On Freedom Train ?? ?? 24" 1 Click
2 April 17, 1948 Montana Standard ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? Click
Click on Hyperlink to View Image

Press Coverage 1948--Then & Now--2008 Press Coverage
1 - - - - - - - Click
Click on Hyperlink to View Image


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Since October 12, 2008