On May 10, 1869, the “Jupiter,” officially known as Central Pacific Railroad #60, pulled in from the west at Promontory Summit, Utah, to meet the Union Pacific’s #119 from the east. The meeting of these two steam locomotives one of the greatest periods in American and Utah history.
The Golden Spike — there were actually four spikes — was created for the celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The celebration took place in Promontory Summit, Utah. The Golden Spike will be reunited this year with the other 1869 ceremony spikes for the first time in 150 years.
Known as tireless, and hardworking, Chinese immigrants made vast contributions to the Transcontinental Railroad with little reward. They played a grand role in one of the greatest developments of our nation’s history.
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US president, was an important figure in the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. He helped unite a nation of settlers by signing legislation that helped build a railway system that united our nation and connected communities from the east to the west.
While new communities expanded along the Transcontinental Railroad, construction continued west. The railroad brought significant changes to the lives of the many diverse Native American people living along the route. This construction caused tension, cultural and economic change, and sometimes came with resistance from different tribes.
The Transcontinental Railroad united our Nation and revolutionized transportation as a trip that once took months could now be completed in days. The railroad’s feat is also significant because of how many people of different cultures and backgrounds worked to achieve a common goal.
With the progress of the Transcontinental Railroad, an innovative vision evolved a steam engine that would overcome some of the highest plains, and mountains of the western United States. This vision soon became a larger than life locomotive, nicknamed the “Big Boy” train.
In partnership with Art Works for Kids, Spike 150 worked with eight elementary school classrooms across the state to create their own stories and corresponding illustrated graphic novels about the Transcontinental Railroad.
The Irish helped build the nation we know today. Seeking a better life, the Irish offered theirs skills and their strength, serving as engineers, managers, masons and laborers on both the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific railroads. For the 150th anniversary we honor the many railroad workers who made this feat possible.
Spike150 and the 150th anniversary celebration honors America’s Civil War veterans, most of whom contributed first to reuniting our nation, then together thereafter constructing a stronger nation by building the first Transcontinental Railroad.
The railroad spurred development across Utah and the West, and contributed to Utah’s enduring status as the “Crossroads of the West.” Both railroad companies contracted with President Brigham Young for Mormon laborers to prepare the grade for the construction of final part of the railroad to Promontory Summit.
African American railroad workers helped build the nation we know today. Railroad employment offered a more economically independent life for African Americans. For the 150th anniversary, Spike 150 recognizes how many people of different cultures and backgrounds united in achieving a goal to connect the Atlantic to the Pacific.
The As One musical premiered on May 10, 2019 at the Golden Spike Sesquicentennial Celebration and Festival at Golden Spike National Historical Park. Listen to the soundtracks to understand this inspirational story that encourages us to continue to strive for greatness.