March 18, 2018

Today in History: Transcontinental Railroad Completed

Today in History–May 10–the Library of Congress features the U.S. transcontinental railroad, celebrated on this day in 1869 when a symbolic golden spike was driven into the ground at Promontory Summit, in Utah Territory—approximately thirty-five miles away from Promontory Point, the site where the rails of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific were joined. This railroad connected the United States from coast to coast, reducing a four-month journey to just one week. Learn more by visiting … [Read more...]

Today in History: The Gadsden Purchase

Today in History–December 30–the Library of Congress features the Gadsden Purchase (treaty), signed on this day in 1853. U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis influenced President Franklin Pierce to send U.S. Minister James Gadsden to negotiate the treaty in order to obtain land for construction of a southern transcontinental railroad. Under the treaty, the United States paid Mexico $10 million for land in what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona. Learn more by visiting … [Read more...]

Today in History: The Transcontinental Telegraph & the End of the Pony Express

Today in History–October 24–the Library of Congress features the transcontinental telegraph system was completed on this day in 1861, which signaled the rapid demise of the short-lived Pony Express. Learn more about these methods of long-distance communication by visiting the Today in History section then click the links below to access more related primary sources. Samuel F.B. Morse Sent the First Telegraphic Message from America's Library Transcontinental telegraph historical newspaper … [Read more...]