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56 Casey Jones Lane
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The year 2000 brings with it an important event in the history of the railroad - the 100th anniversary of the legend of Casey Jones. He has been heralded as an American folkhero in song since his death in 1900 and today is considered the world's most famous engineer. To observe this once in a lifetime event, the historic Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum in Jackson, Tennessee is hosting a year long celebration throughout 2000.
The goal of the celebration is introduce the Casey Jones legend to those who do not know it and to reintroduce the legend to those already familiar with it. Many exciting events will commemorate the life, story, and song of Casey Jones. The celebration will also pay tribute to the history of the railroad and the men and women who devoted their lives to the rails.
We believe the centennial celebration will be a major media event around the country as well as internationally. We have received a great deal of interest in the celebration from both the media and the general public. We have done interviews with UPI, the Farmers Almanac, The Discovery Channel and the BBC concerning the Casey Jones story and the 100th anniversary. American History magazine featured the Casey Jones story in its December 1999 issue. ABC's Good Morning America has also expressed a strong interest in covering this story. TRAINS magazine, the premier publication for railroad enthusiasts, is planning a major tribute to Casey Jones in April 2000. Railfan & Railroad magazine is also planning coverage of the 100th Anniversary. In addition, the Casey Jones story and anniversary will be the focal point for a major media blitz in the German, Austrian and Swiss travel markets in February 2000. We expect this interest to continue on both the national and international scale.
Since your organization, like ours, works to preserve an important part of our nation's railroad history, we ask that you join us in celebrating the Casey Jones Centennial. We hope you will. Please pass on the information provided in the accompanying press release through your newsletters, museum exhibits, website or in any other manner available. We would appreciate your help in spreading the word during this 100th Anniversary Year. Thank you for your time and consideration.
The Directors, Historic Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum
100th Anniversary of the Casey Jones Story to be Celebrated
Jackson, TN - October 26, 1999 - Celebrate, one hundred years of a legend! The year 2000 is the 100th anniversary of the legend of Casey Jones, the gallant engineer whose story is embedded in folklore the world over. To honor this anniversary, the historic Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum, in Jackson, Tennessee, is hosting a year-long extravaganza commemorating the life of America's most famous railroad engineer.
With his train whistle shattering the silence of the early morning on April 30, 1900, Casey Jones lost his life in a train wreck and became a legend. His story spread around the world through a song which would become one of the best loved of all railroad songs - "The Ballad of Casey Jones." This simple, heartfelt tune made a folk hero out of the engineer. The story contained within the song captured the imaginations and hearts of those who heard it and perpetuated the legend of Casey Jones.
The 100th anniversary celebration will bring many festivities to the Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum. During the celebration, the museum's current displays will be enhanced with new memorabilia and special exhibits. Visitors will be able to enjoy new additions to the museum throughout the year 2000. Special guests will also be on hand to provide insight into the story of Casey Jones and the historical significance of the railroad. Many other events are planned for the year-long anniversary celebration, including special tributes to Sim Webb and Wallace Saunders, two African-Americans who contributed greatly to the legend of Casey Jones. Sim Webb was Jones's fireman and Wallace Saunders originally composed "The Ballad of Casey Jones." In addition to these events and others, four major events are planned to highlight the anniversary celebration. They are as follows:
Casey Jones Family Reunion - will bring Casey's grandchildren and over 50 other members of the Jones family together at the historic museum for a special weekend.
Casey Jones Historical Drama - an outdoor production of the musical drama, "Rendezvous With Destiny," which recounts the life and final ride of Casey Jones.
April 30, 2000 at the Casey Jones Home and Museum - the date will mark the exact 100th anniversary of the train wreck that created the legend and a fantastic day of celebration will occur.
Casey Jones Centennial Train Ride - still in the planning stages the ride would follow the route of the engineer's last journey.
Today, the legend of Casey Jones still continues to capture imaginations. Thousands of guests, from around the world, visit the historic Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum each year. The museum, in operation since 1956, is located inside the actual white framed house where Casey and his family lived at the time of his death. It is the goal of the museum not only to preserve the memory of Casey Jones, but to honor all railroad workers. Within the museum are a variety of displays recounting in detail the life and death of the engineer and the glory days of the railroad during the Age of Steam. On the grounds, visitors can explore an authentic 130 ton steam locomotive engine, an 1890s railcar containing model railroad exhibits, and the original horse drawn funeral hearse which carried Casey Jones to his grave. Events are planned so that people of all ages will enjoy the festivities of the centennial celebration. The 100th anniversary of the Casey Jones story is a once-in-a-lifetime event which will offer a year filled with fun, family, and history.
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