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1939 Trip-New York Worlds Fair


From the time the girls returned from the 1938 trip, the town of Bradford was abuzz with excitement! Five of Bradford’s very best had gotten to meet Henry Ford, get their picture taken with him and dine with him. There had to be townsfolk who would regularly ask Darlene what she was going to do for an encore in 1939. It was probably an easy decision for Darlene to select New York and the Worlds Fair as the destination for her 1939 summer trip, the fifth consecutive trip. Worlds Fair’s don’t come around every year. By going north and east they could hopefully catch some cooler less humid weather than was usual in Bradford in the summers, and maybe even stop and see that old friend Henry Ford in Dearborn!

Darlene and sister Margie would go. Winnie Swearingen and Rosemary Moran, fresh off of the successful exciting trip off 1938 where they met Henry Ford were eager to be a part of the 1939 trip. Darlene added two more girls for a total of 6 to make this trip which would be by far the longest trip to date. Regina Fennell, who graduated from Bradford High School in the same class of 1936 as Winnie and Rosemary and was fast friends of both would join the 1939 group. Regina had graduated from Illinois State Normal Teachers college and taught for a year and had saved up some money for the trip. Anne Holland, another teacher would also make the trip. Anne’s family lived in the country north and east of Bradford. She did not attend Bradford High School, but more than likely attended Tiskilwa High School. She had graduated from Illinois State NormalTeachers college and taught for a few years. She would have known many of the girls. She would have gone to the Catholic Church in Tiskilwa with Eleanor Butte, and her younger siblings did go to Bradford High School.

We now know that they stopped in Dearborn Michigan on their way to New York in hopes of seeing Henry Ford again, but while Ford Motor Company treated them royally, Henry was not available. They were given a place to camp and shown through the Ford Plant. They traveled thru Canada stopping at Niagara Falls, then on thru Quebec, down thru Vermont & New Hampshire and made their way into New York’s Flushing Meadows for the Worlds Fair. While attending the New York World’s Fair all expenses were taken care of by the Ford Motor Co., through some of the efforts of R. L. Breen, editor of the Bradford Republican Newspaper, but they did not see Henry. They traveled on to Washington D.C. before turning the Silver Streak westward and heading back home. They passed through Dearborn on their way home, but alas again they did not get to see Henry Ford.

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