HOW BIG WAS THE ORPHAN TRAIN MOVEMENT?
GulfCoastNewsToday.com calls it "the largest child migration in history."
But that's not true.
To my knowledge, the largest child migration in history happened in England during World War II. There more than a million children left their London homes to avoid the bombing. Rural families cared for them.
But perhaps the Gulf Coast reporter meant that the Orphan Trains were the largest movement of children in AMERICAN history.
Even that's suspect. What about the millions of children that have migrated from other countries INTO America?
Granted, the orphan train movement was large, much more so than it's usually reported to be at 250,000. That figure accounts only for the children evacuated by the two major New York City orphanages, the Foundling Hospital and the Children's Aid Society. But orphan train children were sent from many other New York orphanages as well as those in Boston and other cities.
The latest calculators figured that 400,000 children rode the trains plus many for whom records are not available, perhaps a half-a-million in all.