Ahead of Schedule
born in 1892 in Elwood, Indiana, was the 1940 Republican presidential
candidate, running against President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s in his bid
for a third term. Proclaimed “The Miracle at Philadelphia” Willkie was
not supported by the Republican leadership, but won the nomination
through grass-roots support.
“The Willkie Special”
Willkie started his
train campaign in September of 1940. Leaving from Rushville, Indiana it
lasted seven weeks and visited 31 states in the West and Mid West.
Willkie’s staff and press reporters occupied 12 cars that contained
dining, lounging and sleeping compartments. Willkie’s train arrived at
Royal Oak’s Grand Trunk depot on October 1, 1940, at 8:10 a.m., 25
These photos and captions appeared in The Daily Tribune, Tuesday,
October 1, 1940.
Congressman George A. Dondero appeared on the rear platform of the
republican Presidential nominee’s special train for 15 minutes in Royal
Oak this morning. Dondero attempted to introduce Willkie, but the crowd
new him and set up a shout as soon as he walked through the rear door.
Behind him is his brother, Ed.
One of the most youthful crowds to
greet Wendell L.Willkie on his tour
around the United States was this throng of high school pupils at the
Grand Trunk depot this morning. Excused from being on time at first
classes, they were on hand when the special train arrived 25 minutes
early. The train departed at 8:23, 10 minutes before the scheduled time
To learn more about the Willkie train stop come to the Royal Oak
Historical Museum and read the original 1940's Daily Tribune
articles and view more photos of Royal Oak in the 1940's.