AP

Transcontinental Railroad ushered in new era: AP looks back

May 9, 2019, 8:31 AM
transcontinental railroad...
FILE - In this May 10, 1869, file photo, provided by the Union Pacific, railroad officials and employees celebrate the completion of the first railroad transcontinental link in Promontory, Utah. The Union Pacific's Locomotive No. 119, right, and Central Pacific's Jupiter edged forward over the golden spike that marked the joining of the nation by rail. (Andrew Russell/Union Pacific via AP, File)
(Andrew Russell/Union Pacific via AP, File)

PROMONTORY, Utah (AP) — EDITOR’S NOTE: The May 10, 1869, completion of the Transcontinental Railroad was a pivotal moment in the United States, ushering in a period of progress and expansion nationwide.

The presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads met in remote Promontory, Utah, to mark the occasion, driving a last ceremonial spike to connect their rail lines.

The Baltimore Sun, relying on telegraphed dispatches by other cities and The Associated Press, published the following article on the event and how it was celebrated across the U.S. It first appeared on May 11, 1869.

The AP is reprinting it in honor of the Transcontinental Railroad’s 150th anniversary.

FILE - In this April 28, 1869, file photo, workers laying tracks for Central Pacific Railroad pause for a moment at camp "Victory," a few miles from Promontory, Utah. The May 10, 1869, completion of the Transcontinental Railroad was a pivotal moment in the United States, ushering in a period of progress and expansion nationwide.
(AP Photo, File) FILE - In this May 10, 1869, file photo, provided by the Union Pacific, railroad officials and employees celebrate the completion of the first railroad transcontinental link in Promontory, Utah. The Union Pacific's Locomotive No. 119, right, and Central Pacific's Jupiter edged forward over the golden spike that marked the joining of the nation by rail. (Andrew Russell/Union Pacific via AP, File) FILE - In this May 10, 1969, file photo, Associated Press White House correspondents Doug Cornell, left, and Frank Cormier, right, watch as Western Union officials receive a direct wire Morse message in Miami from Promontory, Utah. The message was a duplicate of the one sent 100 years earlier after the completion of the first railroad transcontinental link. Another message was sent to President Nixon nearby in Key Biscayne, Fla., like the one sent to President Grant 100 years earlier. (AP Photo, File)

___

COMPLETION OF THE PACIFIC RAILROAD. Official Announcement – Telegraphing the Hammer Strokes – Rejoicing and Congratulation – Ringing of Bells and Other Demonstrations.

PROMONTORY SUMMIT, Utah, May 10, noon. — To the Associated Press: The last rail is laid. The last spike is driven. The Pacific railroad is completed. The point of junction is 1,086 miles west of the Missouri river, and 690 miles east of Sacramento.

LELAND STANFORD, Central Pacific Railroad

T.C. DURANT, SIDNEY DILLON, JOHN DUFF, Union Pacific Railroad
___

THE NEWS RECEIVED IN NEW YORK

NEW YORK, May 10. — The last spike in the Pacific railroad was driven today at five minutes past 3 o’clock P.M., New York time. San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Plaister Cove, the end of the cable, were connected with Promontory Point by telegraph, and the hammer strokes on the last spike were duly transmitted according to arrangement.

When the news was received in New York a hundred guns were fired in the City Hall Park, and Mayor Hall forwarded a congratulatory message to the Mayor of San Francisco. A commemorative celebration had previously been held in Trinity Church, at which a telegram forwarded by the Chamber of Commerce to the Chamber in San Francisco was read, and an address delivered by Rev. Dr. Vinton.

After prayer and reading of portions of the Episcopal service, the organ pealed and chimes rung as the large congregation left the church. Flags on the city hall and on many public and private buildings were displayed all day in honor of the great event.
___

FREE TRADE AND THE PACIFIC RAILROAD.

A meeting of the American Free Trade League of New York was held at Cooper Institute tonight at which many of the prominent members of the organization were present. David Dudley Field called the assemblage to order, and Howard Potter presided. Addresses were delivered by William Cullen Bryant and Edward Atkinson, and the following resolution was adopted:

“Resolved, That in the opening of the great Pacific railroad today, connecting New York and San Francisco, we recognize a pledge, not only for one country, one constitution and one destiny, but with a due regard to the revenue, for the freest sort of trade with all countries and all continents.”
___

RINGING THE BELLS IN PHILADELPHIA

Philadelphia, May 10. — At 2:30 o’clock P.M. precisely, Philadelphia time, the news was received of the driving of the last spike of the Pacific railroad. Word was sent to the mayor, and in a few minutes the bells in Independence Hall and the various fire stations were rung, drawing crowds into the streets under the impression that a general alarm of fire was being rung. The people soon ascertained the reason of the ringing of the bells, and flags were immediately displayed everywhere. A large number of steam fire engines ranged in front of Independence Hall with screaming whistles and hose carriage bells ringing. Joy was expressed in every face at the completion of this great work of country. The sudden flocking of the people to the State House reminded one of the reception of the news of the surrender of Lee’s army, when a similar scene was enacted.
___

THE REJOICEING AT CHICAGO.

Chicago, May 10. — The celebration of the completion of the great inter-ocean railroad connection today was the most successful affair of the kind that ever took place in Chicago, and probably in the West. It is entirely impromptu, and therefore almost every man, woman and child in the city did their part toward making it a success. The procession was unique in appearance and immense in length, the lowest estimate putting it down at seven miles. During the moving of the procession, Vice President Colfax received the following dispatch:

“Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10. — Hon. Schuyler Colfax, Vice President: The rails were connected today. The prophecy of Benton is today a fact. This is the way to India.

“G.M. DODGE,

“JOHN DUFF,

“SIDNEY DILLON,

“T.C. DURANT.”

This evening Vice President Colfax, Lieut. Governor Bross and others addressed large audiences at Liberty Hall, in which they spoke eloquently of the great era which this day marks in the history of our country. During the evening there was general indulgence in fireworks, bonfires, illumination, &c.
___

THE CELEBRATION ELSEWHERE.

There was great rejoicing over the event at Scranton, Pennsylvania, where cannon, bells and whistles of locomotives were employed to give eclat to the occasion.

In Buffalo, New York, a large gong was attached to the telegraph wire, and at 2:41 P.M. by the time of that city began to ring out the hammer strokes. The crowd sung the Star-Spangled Banner, and jubilee speeches were made by the orators.

Omaha dispatches say that telegrams from Echo City report that the troubles of the railroad laborers near Piedmont were amicably settled.
___

The AP Corporate Archives contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, in response to "macroeconomic cond...
MATT O'BRIEN, Associated Press

Job cuts in tech sector spread, Microsoft lays off 10,000

Microsoft said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that had just notified employees of the layoffs, some of which begin immediately.
9 days ago
exxon mobil sign pictured...
SETH BORENSTEIN and CATHY BUSSEWITZ Associated Press

Study: Exxon Mobil accurately predicted warming since 1970s

Exxon said its understanding of climate change evolved over the years and that critics are misunderstanding its earlier research.
15 days ago
FILE - Protesters, supporters of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro, stand on the roof of the...
The Associated Press

Brazil and Jan. 6 in US: Parallel attacks, but not identical

RIO DE JANIERO, Brazil — Enraged protesters broke into government buildings that are the very symbol of their country’s democracy. Driven by conspiracy theories about their candidate’s loss in the last election, they smashed windows, sifted through the desks of lawmakers and trashed the highest offices in the land in a rampage that lasted hours […]
17 days ago
President Joe Biden pictured...
ZEKE MILLER AP White House Correspondent

DOJ reviewing potentially classified docs at Biden center

Special counsel to the president Richard Sauber said “a small number of documents with classified markings” were discovered at the offices of the Penn Biden Center.
18 days ago
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 06: A poster advertising the launch of Prince Harry's memoir "Spare" is s...
Jill Lawless Associated Press

Prince Harry says explosive book is a bid to ‘own my story’

Prince Harry defended his decision to publish a memoir that lays bare rifts inside Britain’s royal family.
18 days ago
utah capitol, a new bill heading to lawmakers will affect the utah sex offender registry...
HANNAH SCHOENBAUM Associated Press/Report for America

States target transgender health care in first bills of 2023

After a record flow of anti-transgender legislation last year, Republican state lawmakers this year are zeroing in on questions of bodily autonomy.
20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
Transcontinental Railroad ushered in new era: AP looks back