On this day in 1869, California Governor Leland Stanford pounds a ceremonial golden spike completing the nation’s first transcontinental railway.
California-based Central Pacific began laying tracks eastward from Sacramento, and eastern-based Union Pacific built west from Omaha. The tracks met in Promontory, Utah.
Continue the Unity
The golden spike is engraved on all four sides, with the following words on one side:
“May God continue the unity of our Country, as this Railroad unites the two great Oceans of the world. Presented by David Hewes San Francisco.”
Today, an identical spike made at the same time as the original is on display in the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University.
As powerful those words must have been in the wake of the Civil War, they are just as powerful now in our current national climate.