Placing Out: The Orphan Trains (2008)
Smoky Hills Public Television examines this period of mass relocation of children in the United States, widely recognized as the beginning of documented foster care in America, in its historical documentary Placing Out: The Orphan Trains.
Produced by Smoky Hills Senior Producer Les Kinderknecht, Placing Out: The Orphan Trains combines archival material with interviews with actual orphan train riders, rider descendants and historical consultants. The program is meant to help create awareness of the Orphan Train Era and preserve the history of the movement and those who were a part of it.
Among those interviewed for the documentary were actual orphan train rider Ann Harrison of Lincoln, Nebraska; Francis Schipper, Hays; Lee Rich Lundy and Doloris Pfeifer Pederson, Russell; Walter Straub and Kevin Lockwood, Great Bend; Sharla Thill, Ellinwood; and Judy Ruffo, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Placing Out: The Orphan Trains previewed in September 2007 at the historic Brown Grand Theatre in Concordia, Kansas, in conjunction with the grand opening of the National Orphan Train Museum and Research Center, the 20th Anniversary of the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America and the 100th Anniversary of the Brown Grand.
The program is funded in part by the Kansas Humanities Council, a non-profit cultural organization promoting understanding of the history, traditions and ideas that shape our lives and build community.
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