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Public Be Damned.


"PUBLIC BE DAMNED." On Sunday afternoon, 8 October 1882, as a New York Central Railroad train bearing W. H. Vanderbilt, president of the railroad, approached Chicago, two newspaper reporters boarded the train and interviewed Vanderbilt on various aspects of the railroad industry. In the course of the interview, Vanderbilt was asked whether he planned to match the "express passenger" service just inaugurated by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Vanderbilt remarked that such service was unprofitable; answering a follow-up question about "the public benefit," he is reported to have replied, "The public be damned." Vanderbilt later claimed that "both my words and ideas are misreported and misrepresented." Publication of the interview caused widespread critical comment.

Thomas RobsonHay/t. g.

See also"Full Dinner Pail" ; Locomotives ; Pujo Committee ; Railroads ; Trust-Busting ; Yellow Journalism .

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