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150th Gold Spike Celebration

Gov. Leland Stanford Locomotive

On May 10, 1869, Leland Stanford participated in the ceremonial driving of the last railroad spike, a gold spike, that made the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad possible. The Stanford Historical Society examined this legacy in a year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. In addition to a film series, an event at the Stanford Mansion in Sacramento, a talk on the building of the railroad, and a presentation on the history of the American West, the society sponsored The Transcontinental Railroad Symposium on April 6, 2019. The presentations included:

The Big Four
Richard White, Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford

Impacting Cultures: The Chinese and Native Americans
Hilton Obenzinger, Associate Director, Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University
C. Matthew Snipp, Senior Associate Vice Provost of Faculty Development and Diversity; Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford

Celestial Railroad Revisited: The Railroad in 19th Century American History and Culture
James Campbell, Edgar E. Robinson Professor in United States History, Stanford

Stanford University’s Railroad Legacy
Laura Jones, Director, Heritage Services and University Archaeologist, Stanford



Photos: Scenes from the Golden Spike Sesquicentennial Celebration and festival at Promontory Summit. Ogden Standard-Examiner  05/11/2019 

Photos: 150 years ago, America was United by Train. Bloomberg. 05/09/2019

Stanford Libraries Transcontinental Railroad Exhibit (photos, oral histories, maps, survey, payroll records, and more). University Archives and Special Collections.

ARTEFFECTS: Reno Philharmonic commissions work for 150th anniversary of completion of the Transcontinental Railroad (video). KNPB. 2/16/2018

Transcontinental Railroad marks 150th anniversary (audio). Capital Public Radio. 2/09/2018

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