The Freedom Train began as a concept formulated by government officials in early 1946. Strongly supported by the Archivist of the United States and later President Harry S. Truman, the train would display documents demonstrating celebrating American liberty. The train carried 127 historical documents, including the Magna Carta, the Gettysburg Address, Francis Scott Key’s Manuscript of the “Star Spangled Banner,” the Emancipation Proclamation, German surrender documents, and the Declaration of Independence.

The Freedom Train collection contains Freedom Train paraphernalia and newspaper coverage of the Freedom Train and corresponding Rededication Week in Bloomington.