Friday, May 06, 2011


Exhibit documents African American journey from the rural South by train

PHILADELPHIA - Amtrak honors the Great Migration on National Train Day, May 7, 2011, with an exhibit that documents the journey of African Americans from the rural south to the industrial north during the early 20th century. The important role the Great Migration played in America's railroad history will be discussed by Dr. Allen Ballard, University of Albany History/African American Studies professor and award-winning author.

The exhibit chronicles the migration of African Americans from the South to the Northeast, Midwest and West via passenger and freight trains. It was designed with the help of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, African American Museum of Philadelphia, Library of Congress, The Henry Ford®, and University of Chicago and Florida State Archives.

In addition, attendees will be able to engage in storytelling and conversation with members of the Union League and United States Colored Troops (USCT)/Civil War period reenactment performers walking around 30th Street Station...

National Train Day marks 142 years of connecting travelers coast to coast and commemorates the day the transcontinental railroad was created. On May 10, 1869, in Promontory Summit, Utah, the "golden spike" was driven into the final tie that joined 1,776 miles of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways, transforming America by creating the nation's transcontinental railroad.

At National Train Day, Amtrak will also celebrate its 40th anniversary with entertainment and activities geared towards "all kids - young and old." As one of four events across the country, visitors to 30th St. Station will enjoy live entertainment, interactive and educational exhibits, kids' activities, model train displays and tours of Amtrak equipment, freight and commuter trains, and notable private railroad cars. All activities are free and open to the public on Saturday, May 7 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

For more information about the Great Migration of African Americans exhibit please visit For more information about National Train Day or to find information about other community events, visit

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