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:

Sunday May 1, 2022
Monday May 2, 2022
Tuesday May 3, 2022
Wednesday May 4, 2022
Thursday May 5, 2022
Friday May 6, 2022
Saturday May 7, 2022
Sunday May 8, 2022
Monday May 9, 2022
Tuesday May 10, 2022
Wednesday May 11, 2022
Thursday May 12, 2022
Friday May 13, 2022
Saturday May 14, 2022
Sunday May 15, 2022
Monday May 16, 2022
Tuesday May 17, 2022
Wednesday May 18, 2022
Thursday May 19, 2022
Friday May 20, 2022
Saturday May 21, 2022
Sunday May 22, 2022
Monday May 23, 2022
Tuesday May 24, 2022
Wednesday May 25, 2022
Thursday May 26, 2022
Friday May 27, 2022

 

 

 
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.