Mark Twain Zephyr
Christening of "Mark Twain Zephyr" train..Hannibal, Mo.
October 25, 1935
2:00 to 2:30 PM CBS
OPENING....BAND...."WASHINGTON POST MARCH....FULL UP AND FADE TO BG.
ANNOUNCER: Greetings from Hannibal, Missouri...the boy-hood home of Samuel
Langhorne Clemens....better known throughout the world as "Mark
Twain"...humorist and philosopher....Today's celebration is one
of the highlights of the year's activities here in Hannibal
commemorating the birth of Mark Twain....for...today....the new
"MARK TWAIN ZEPHYR" train is to be christened. Any moment now...
we expect it to arrive...but in the mean time...let me tell you
something about this gala celebration....for it looks as though
the entire populace of 25,000 is here to see the fourth member of
the most illustrious train family in the world...as it arrives
for the christening. Yes...there are thousands lining the levee
and it seems thousands more in the large square in front of me...
some of the distinguished guests have just arrived...there is
It's a lovely Indian-summer day and the afternoon sun makes the
whole spectacle takes on a carnival spirit....Hannibal is no
longer "the little white town....drowsing in the sunshine", as it
was in Mark Twain's day....to be sure...."Old Man River", the famous
Mississippi of song and story....still rolls along....Not far from
where I'm standing can be found the cave in which Tom and Becky were
lost and the gold was found...in the distance we can see Jackson
Island where Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and all the rest went to become
pirates...to our left is the building where Sam Clemens learned the
printer's trade....just up the street is his boyhood home which is
now a shrine to the memory of America's most beloved writer....
But....here comes the MARK TWAIN ZEPHYR....just rounding the
TRAIN WHISTLES - ANSWERED BY STEAM BOAT WHISTLE
bend....Yesterday and today catch sight of each other...for the
Zephyr's sharp whistle in salute to an old-timer..is acknowledged
by the deep toned greeting of a Mississippi River side-wheeler....
"The Mark Twain Zephyr" is built in streamlined fashion with
bullet-shaped front and rear...and is finished in highly polished
stainless steel which shines like burnished silver in the afternoon
sun....Appropriately....the four cars of the train bear the names
of Mark Twain's best-known characters....there's Tom Sawyer.....
Huckleberry Finn....Becky Thatcher and the engine....Ingun Joe....
perhaps you can hear the powerful Diesel motor as the train comes to
SOUND OF ENGINE
a stop just in front of us.....
CHEERING OF CROWDS....BAND OUT
The roustabouts from the levee have joined the throngs....listen....
true to form....when they feel gay....they must sing....let's see
if we can pick up their song....
NEGRO CHORUS MEDLEY.....UP...FADE FOR DESCRIPTION OF CARS
ANNOUNCER: We have placed microphones inside the cars of the train....so let's
have a description of the interiors....take it away....observation car...
DESCRIPTION OF OBSERVATION CAR
ANNOUNCER: And...now...let's hear about the buffet car....
DESCRIPTION OF BUFFET CAR
ANNOUNCER: The platform on which I'm standing faces the mighty engine compartment
Here is ..................................the engineer of "The Mark
Twain Zephyr"....oh....Mr...................do you mind telling us
something about the technical side of the "zephyr?"
ENGINEER: Well....the train is propelled by electric power generated by a
660-horsepower, 8-cylinder Diesel engine...designed especially for
this type of train....It burns ordinary fuel oil and has no spark
plugs or ignition system of the sort used in gasoline engines.....
combustion being accomplished wholly through high compression...It's
280 feet long and has seats for 92 passengers. With a full load of
fuel and water...it weighs 287,245 pounds..which is considerably less
than the weight of two ordinary coaches....Aside from the big
Diesel engine....the first car contains a Railway Post Office and
space for storage mail..The second car is given over to baggage
and express....and I think....you have described the last two cars.
The train is air-conditioned by a special system that supplies
filtered air under thermostatic control and all passenger compartments
are equipped with radio.
ANNOUNCER: Thanks Mr.................... you surely have given us a very good
idea of the "zephyr".
At this time...it's my pleasure to introduce one of the distinguished
guests of today's celebration...Governor.....Park of Missouri
ADDRESS OF GOVERNOR PARK OF MISSOURI
Fellow Missourians....Distinguished guests and listeners everywhere...
It was my pleasure to participate in the unique ceremonies attendant
upon the opening of the Mark Twain Centennial...January 15th.
The celebration today is quite as inspiring...I am standing directly
in front of a new shoveled nosed train built of stainless steel that
in the sun glistens like silver....A little later on it will be
christened "The Mark Twain" by the grand daughter of Missouri's most
illustrious son Samuel Langhorne Clemens...Mark Twain belonged to
an era in transportation, colorful and romantic in it's day and
his name is now identified with a new type of transportation that
gives promise of great achievement and process. The flight of one
of these stream line trains has been compared to the flash of a
comet in space. There is something recollective in that thought
because Mark Twain was born at the time Haley's comet was visable
to his family at his birthplace, Florida, Mo., and his physical
passing was timed to the reappearance of that celestial phenomenon
75 years later. Mark Twain's genius was likened to something
celestial....something unusual, so that it is therefore fitting
that his name should be associated with the new---the extraordinary
in land travel...Friends and visitors all are welcome to the domain
of Mark Twain. I now wish to introduce my good friend Governor
Herring of Iowa.
ADDRESS BY GOVERNOR HERRING OF IOWA
I am very proud of this opportunity to pay my heart felt tribute
of affection and reverence to the memory of Mark Twain...In my
youth I reveled in the vacarious companionship of Tom Sawyer,
Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher..As I grew older I passed many an
enjoyable and unforgettable hour in the company of Colonel Sellers,
Puddin Head Wilson and Joan of Arc. I consider Mark Twain not only
America's greatest humorist but one of the greatest geniuses that
this nation has ever produced. I am very proud more over of the
fact that the State of Iowa of which I have the honor to be
Governor shared honors with the State of Missouri in the shaping of
Mark Twain's character and literary development Iowa yields to
Missouri in the matter of Mark Twain's birth but claims a share of
the credit for having given Mark Twain to the world.
ANNOUNCER: I think the roustabouts from the levee feel a song coming on...yes...
sure enought.....there they go....let's see what they are singing
CHORUS... SINGING MEDLEY OF LEVEE MELODIES
ANNOUNCER: During the past four weeks..many towns in the middle-west have
held competitions amoung their youngsters for the best character-
ization of the three outstanding personalities created by "Mark
Twain"....that is Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher and Huckleberry Finn...
Here come the final winners of that competition....
(ad lib description)
BAND MUSIC.....UP AND OUT
ANNOUNCER: At this time....I have the pleasure of presenting Mr. Ralph Budd,
President of the Burling railroad.
ADDRESS BY RALPH BUDD
"True to Zephyr traditions...this fourth of our fleet of stainless
steel Diesel-electric powered trains has been making history in
advance of its formal christening. With a distinguished company,
including Former Vice-President Dawes, Former Secretary of State
Kellogg, and many others well known to all Americans, we took this
new type to McCook, Nebraska for the first day of the Republican
Valley Jubilee on Wednesday.
With the original Zephyr operating daily in the Missouri River
Country between Lincoln and Omaha and Kansas City since last
Armistice Day, and the Twin Zephyrs completing a round trip daily
between Chicago and St. Paul and Minneapolis, our choice for the
route of this fourth member of the new family became the Mark Twain
country...that historic area along the Mississippi between
St. Louis and Burlington, Iowa, through Hannibal. The name of this
train really suggested itself.
Quite happy we were to have it ready and actually scheduled to
run during this eventful Mark Twain Centennial....so signally
celebrated by your citizenry under the leadership of your Chamber
of Commerce and Centennial Association....the new train will
actually go into service this coming Sunday, quite appropriately
starting out of Hannibal for St Louis there on the following day
to inaugurate its daily round trip of 442 miles....The illustrious
Mark Twain....your enterprising City of Hannibal and the Burlington
Railroad are inseparably linked in the development of this area....
The first railroad to cross the State of Missouri was the Hannibal
and St. Joe....now a component part of the Burlington System...And
the father of Mark Twain was among the pioneers that projected that
first railroad; in fact as an attorney of standing, he drew up the
preliminary papers for incorporation. So the name, "Mark Twain"
for this glistening Zephyr is a "natural" and further...what is
more appropriate than that his charming granddaughter...Miss Nina
Gabrilowitsch, inheriting on her father's side too, another famous
name, that of the world renowned conductor of the Detroit Symphony
Orchestra...should be here to do the christening.
Miss Gabrilowitsch....the honor is yours.....
MISS NINA: I christen thr thee....."The Mark Twain Zephyr".
BUSINESS OF CRASHING BOTTLE....THEN WHISTLES....CHEERING.....STEAM BOAT SALUTE
BAND FULL UP DURING CHEERING......FADE FOR ANNOUNCER
ANNOUNCER: At this time...I take pleasure in presenting Senator Clayton
SHORT REMARKS BY SENATOR CLAYTON
(Who will thank Columbia and Burlington for courtesies)
CHORUS SINGING "STEAL AWAY".......FADE TO BG. FOR ANNOUNCER
ANNOUNCER: And so...with the roustabouts from the levee of the Mississippi
singing one of Mark Twain's favorite melodies...we bring to a
close the ceremonies of the christening of the new "MARK TWAIN
ZEPHYR" train, from Hannibal, Missouri....the boyhood home of
America's renowned humorist Mark Twain. One hundred years have
passed since Mark Twain was born at Florida, Missouri, about
thirty miles from Hannibal....but the spirit of Mark Twain and
the immortal Tom, Huck and Becky, lives on.....
Your announcer......Del King
THIS IS THE COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM