The York (Pa.) Dispatch reported on a celebrity train passing through York in September 1941. Background posts: From York, Pa. to inside the beltway, politicos, celebrities got no friend and What did Tiny Tim and Richard Nixon have in common? and Sidney Poitier visits Valencia.
York’s location on the Northern Central Railroad, later Pennsylvania Railroad, meant many presidents and other celebrities passed through the city.
In the age of steam locomotives, trains often stopped for water. And York’s position as the largest town between Baltimore and Harrisburg increased the likelihood of visits.
In 1941, one such celebrity train did not stop.
It carried the controversial celebrities, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor… .
The relationship between the duchess, the twice-divorced, former Baltimore resident Bessie Wallis Warfield, and King Edward of Britain led to the king’s abdication of the throne in 1936.
The royal twosome passed through York after spending some time in Washington, D.C., meeting with President Franklin Roosevelt, who also had made a rolling visit through York. Edward addressed the National Press Club, and the duchess talked with women journalists.
The newspaper did not report any sighting of Edward and “the woman I love” through the window of their passing private Pullman.