The crowd cheers as Governor Leland Stanford drives the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit, Utah to complete the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. More than one thousand people, including immigrant laborers, gathered to witness the joining of the Pacific and Union tracks, which provided the United States with coast-to-coast transportation and communication. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
|July 1, 1862||Congress passes Pacific Railroad Bill, authorizing construction of a continuous cross-country railroad and telegraph line.|
|May 8, 1869||Hammering of last spike delayed due to weather.|
|May 10, 1869||Governor Leland Stanford drives in golden spike to unite Central and Union Pacific tracks in Promontory Summit, Utah. More than 1,000 people attend ceremony.|
|May 1869||Cities across the country commemorate completion of transcontinental railroad project with parades, galas, and fireworks.|