This Day in History
The Golden Spike


On this day in 1869…

After 1830, railroad construction advanced with spectacular speed. By 1840, the new nation boasted 2,818 miles of track, by 1850 over 9,000, and by 1860 an astonishing 30,000 - three times the mileage of Britain. It was to be of historical importance that most of this growth was in the Old Northwest: by 1860, Ohio alone had almost 3,000 miles of track, and Illinois, under the stimulus of lavish land grants from the federal government, some 2,800. A few years later a new breed of financiers and entrepreneurs were flinging tracks across the continent. On May 10, 1869, amidst national rejoicing, the tracks of the Union Pacific, building west from Omaha, and the Central Pacific, building east from California, were joined with a golden spike. It was a symbol of a reunited Union, reunited now East and West as well as North and South.





May's Archived Features:

Monday May 1, 2023
Tuesday May 2, 2023
Wednesday May 3, 2023
Thursday May 4, 2023
Friday May 5, 2023
Saturday May 6, 2023
Sunday May 7, 2023
Monday May 8, 2023
Tuesday May 9, 2023
Wednesday May 10, 2023
Thursday May 11, 2023
Friday May 12, 2023
Saturday May 13, 2023
Sunday May 14, 2023
Monday May 15, 2023
Tuesday May 16, 2023
Wednesday May 17, 2023
Thursday May 18, 2023
Friday May 19, 2023
Saturday May 20, 2023
Sunday May 21, 2023
Monday May 22, 2023
Tuesday May 23, 2023
Wednesday May 24, 2023
Thursday May 25, 2023
Friday May 26, 2023
Saturday May 27, 2023
Sunday May 28, 2023
Monday May 29, 2023

 

 

 
All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.