Merci Train Boxcar
This 40&8 boxcar is one of forty-nine cars that comprised the Merci or Gratitude Train, a gift to the American People from the Citizens of France. The 40&8 boxcars, so named because of their capacity to hold either 40 men or 8 horses, transported soldiers and horses to and from France battlefields during WWI. Many WWII soldiers rode the boxcars as well. Kansas received its boxcar in a ceremony on Armistice Day November 11, 1949 in Hays KS. The 40&8 boxcar was placed on the Fort Hays Kansas State University ground. All forty-nine states received a boxcar filled with gifts, ranging from humble offerings to priceless art and antiques. The District of Columbia and the Territory of Hawaii shared the fourty-ninth [sic] car. Gifts of sacrifice from individuals conveyed each donor's depth of gratitude to America for liberating France in two world wars and for sending the Friendship Train, a $40 million food relief effort carried out by the American volunteers in 1947, which saved many French citizens from starvation. In 1975 the 40&8 boxcar was moved to its present location at the home of the American Legion-Hays where it was completely refurbished, then transformed into the military museum you see today. The Merci Train boxcars now stand as a tribute to the sacrifices and bravery of American Veterans who served in France in two world wars
Erected by Grande Voiture du Kansas & High Plains Voiture-1543, Hays, KS (Home of the Kansas Merci Boxcar).
Marker series. This marker is included in the Merci Train Boxcars marker series.
Location. 38° 52.32′ N, 99° 18.013′ W. Marker is in Hays, Kansas, in Ellis County. Marker is at the intersection of Canterbury Drive and 13th Street, on the left when traveling north on Canterbury Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1305 Canterbury Drive, Hays KS 67601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Avenue of Flags (approx. 1.3 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 1.3 miles away); You Now Stand On The Original Boot Hill (approx. 1½ miles away); Replica of the Statue of Liberty (approx. 1.6 miles away); Walker Army Air Field (approx. 1.6 miles away); Col. Wm. F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody (approx. 1.6 miles away); James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok (approx. 1.6 miles away); The Pioneer Store (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hays.
Also see . . .
1. Merci Train. (Submitted on July 5, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. 40 and 8. (Submitted on July 5, 2016.)
3. 40/8 Grande du Kansas. (Submitted on July 5, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Patriots & Patriotism • Railroads & Streetcars • War, World I • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on July 5, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 5, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 203 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 5, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.