Fascinating True Stories From the Flip Side of History

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Podcasting Since January 2008

Trapped in Refrigerated Boxcar

When 28-year-old Manuel Ramirez was laid off from his job as a laborer in the Chicago stockyards, he decided that it was time to move back to his mother’s house in Laredo, Texas. Lacking the necessary funds to make the trip, he instead jumped aboard a boxcar that he thought was headed south. Oh, how wrong he was.

Instead, after five days of travel, the train arrived in Philadelphia on June 14th, 1955 with Ramirez locked inside.  

When workers unlocked the boxcar’s door, they discovered what appeared to be the lifeless, nearly frozen body of Ramirez.  It turns out that he had boarded a refrigerated boxcar that was loaded with sheep hides.  

Amazingly, doctors found that he was only suffering from malnutrition and dehydration.  He was expected to make a full recovery.

Manuel Ramirez being treated in the hospital.
Manuel Ramirez being treated in the hospital. The image appeared on page 9 of the June 15, 1955 issue of the Spokane-Review.
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