Photograph of Golden Spike Ceremony at Promont...

Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

At 2:47 p.m. today, May 10th, the golden spike bearing the words ” May God continue the unity of our Country as this Railroad unites the two great Oceans of the world,” was driven into place at Promontory Summit in Utah, creating the first Transcontinental railroad in the United States. This might not seem like much, but in fact it meant that travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific could be done in about a week, compared to the six months that the journey took beforehand.

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