Voices From the Past

Posted 3 days ago by John Hankey
What would you say if I told you that there were people alive today who heard firsthand stories of the construction and operation of the Pacific Railroad ? The mid-19th century seems like the dim, distant past. It really isn’t. Technically it may be six or seven generations, but that is a statistical measure. It is the space of perhaps three lived lives, and much closer to us than we imagine. I firmly believe that there are older folks among us who listened to their elders describe what ...

The Significance of the Transcontinental Railroad

Posted 10 days ago by John Hankey
The United States changed on the morning of May 10, 1869. Around noon local time, a few battle-hardened men laid the final few rails to create a physical link between the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads at Promontory Summit in Utah. The Transcontinental Railroad was by no means finished—it would take years to make it a fully-functional main line. But the rails had been joined. This was never a sure thing, any more than the Confederate surrender at Appomattox Court House in Vi...

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