On Feb. 2, 1949, 49 boxcars filled with gifts from France arrived in America. The “Merci Train” was a thank-you to the American people from the French in response to food shipped to Europe during World War II. The “American Friendship Train” consisted of 700 boxcars of relief supplies to France.
Each state was given a boxcar containing hundreds of gifts donated by French citizens. Gifts included art, food, wine, letters and more. Arkansas received its boxcar on Feb. 13, 1949. Gifts were distributed throughout the state to schools, museums and other institutions.
Today, the boxcar sits in Helena.
– Maeghen Carter, Ghidotti Communications