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Chattanooga Choo Choo

“Chattanooga Choo Choo” is a big band/swing song that was written in 1941 for the movie Sun Valley Serenade.  

“Chattanooga Choo Choo” was the number 1 song on December 7, 1941, the date of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

The song tells the story of traveling by train from New York to Chattanooga.  The inspiration came from a small, wood burning, steam locomotive which belonged to the Cincinnati Southern Railway Station.  This train is now a museum artifact.  

Most trains passed through Chattanooga, Tennessee when traveling from the north to the south starting in 1880.  Many believe the Chattanooga Choo Choo refered to a specific train, however, there is no affirmed evidence that the Chattanooga Choo Choo referenced a particular train.

“Chattanooga Choo Choo” enjoyed world wide fame.  In the UK, the lyrics were adapted for a commercial: “Pardon me boy, is that a Toffee Crisp you chew chew” and ended with “Chew chew Toffee crisp, the big value”.

The song was also release in Japan (translated to Japanese) in 1975.

Two versions were released in Germany.  The first, Zug nach Kotschenbroda released in 1947, humorously described a train ride out of post-war Berlin.  The second, Udo Lindenberg released in 1983, was very popular and dealt with political topics.

That year in America:

The United Service Organization (USO) was created to entertain American Troops

Bugs Bunny made his second appearance in Elmer’s Pet Rabbit

All people born in Puerto Rica were declared US citizens

First person to be treated with penicillin 

First FM radio to be broadcasted.  

Cheerios was first introduced

Vermont declares war on Germany

Pearl Harbor attacked by the Japanese

Lauren Morrow, MT-BC

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