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April 21, 2020  

Orphan Trains across America

April 21, 2020

How were over a quarter-million orphans and unwanted children resettled by trains across the United States from 1854 until 1929? We speak with Alison Moore and Phil Lancaster, whose "Riders on the Orphan Train" programs tell this little-known story from American history. Alison and Phil discuss the circumstances that led to the orphan train movement in the mid-19th century (1:40), tell how the program actually worked (12:30), and relate stories of orphan train riders brought to Oklahoma (27:15). We also discuss how circumstances have changed for orphans and unwanted children and how these situations help us understand our country and ourselves (42:00), and we hear Alison and Phil's song "Ezra's Lullaby," inspired by the stories of the orphan train riders (1:05:00).

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