May 10, 2005

May 10, 1869

From the Library of Congress--

Officials and workers of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railways met on Promontory Summit, in Utah Territory to drive in the Golden Spike on May 10, 1869. This spike symbolized completion of the first transcontinental railroad, an event which joined the nation from coast to coast and reduced a journey of four or more months to just one week. [...]

Like everything else nowadays, it has its own website.

As an historical aside, the spike wasn't actually driven, since is really was gold, and to have hit it with a hammer would have been a really stupid thing to do. It was dropped into a predrilled hole in a ceremonial laurel wood tie. And there were several spikes, not just one. Had to be able to have some giveaways, you know. More about all that here.

IN A LESS NOBLE anniversary, it is also the day in 1865 when the runaway President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, was captured by Federal troops near Irwinville, Georgia. President Davis was dressed in his wife's waterproof cape and black shawl. [Seinfeld] Not that there's anything wrong with that. [/Seinfeld]

Posted by Terry Oglesby at May 10, 2005 09:58 AM

I've actually gone out to the reenactment of the driving of the Golden Spike, the park is just about 40 miles from here. (Its on the way to where we go shooting, BTW) Anyway, it was 24 years ago and I was with my first spouse, my current spouse, her first spouse and two one year old babies. In a 70s AMC Hornet Hatchback. With no AC.

Did I mention its in the desert? And usually hot by this time of year? The current spouse still growls at me for that misadventure of a trip!

Posted by: Nate at May 10, 2005 12:12 PM

Ahhhhh. Nothing like a little history, eh?!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 10, 2005 12:23 PM