this day in the yesteryear: Wreck of the “Old 97” (1903)

Wreck of the “Old 97” (1903)

The Fast Mail, a Southern Railway mail train nicknamed “Old 97,” crashed near Danville, Virginia, in 1903. The derailment occurred when the train, which was being operated at a high speed in order to stay on schedule, approached a curve too quickly. It fell from the trestle to the ravine below, killing several people. The accident inspired a famous ballad that has since been recorded by Johnny Cash and Woody Guthrie among others. Why did the song become the subject of a copyright dispute? More… Discuss

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