September 10's Fact of the Day: Golden Spike Day

When the Transcontinental Railroad, originally known as the Pacific Railroad, was completed in May of 1869, the United States celebrated Golden Spike Day to commemorate not only its completion, but also the services of Chinese American workers that had been crucial to the success of the national project. On May 10, a single telegraph word, "done," had signaled to the world of the first transcontinental railroad to be built, a symbol of American industrial aptitude. Crews of over 10,000 Chinese American workers met at Promontory Summit northwest of Utah. Overall, Chinese American workers comprised of at least 80-percent of the workface, but received $7 less than their white co-workers without food and shelter. Still, the railroad stands as a resultant of their dangerous sacrifice, even in the worst terrain or weather conditions, and achievement of first Chinese immigrant workers leaving several monuments dedicated to their invaluable contributions.