The last spike 1869

Painting: Ceremony of the driving of the “Last Spike” at the Promontory Summit, by Thomas Hill (1829-1908).  Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Main content start

Transcontinental Railroad 150th Anniversary

Throughout the spring of 2019, the Center and its partners commemorated the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Point, Utah, in 1869.

Stanford Historical Society Events

Transcontinental Railroad Symposium at Stanford, April 6, 2019

In a morning symposium, the Stanford Historical Society reflected on the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad and its legacy at Stanford. Presenters included a variety of Stanford faculty experts who discussed the impact of the railroad on American lives, fortunes and society.

Commemoration in Sacramento on May 18, 2019

The Stanford Historical Society led a commemoration of the Gold Spike’s 150th anniversary, which included presentations on the impact of the Transcontinental Railroad on the American West, an official proclamation and a reception.

Related article: Stanford Historical Society plans railroad sesquicentennial events (Stanford News Service, Oct. 23, 2018)

More info »

Film Series at Stanford

Over the course of six weeks, the Stanford Historical Society and Stanford Continuing Studies presented a series of films, each introduced by historians, film scholars and researchers, that attempted to put these historical events in perspective. A discussion followed each screening.


Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project

150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike: Chinese Railroad Workers and the Transcontinental Railroad

On April 11 at Stanford, the organizers of this research project explored the newly recovered history of the Chinese immigrant workers who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad.

View event info »