Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10, 1869: A Date for Railroads and Chinese Immigrants

I learned that today marks the 142nd anniversary of the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad. According to the book The Other Half--a biography about Gilded Age muckraker, Jacob Riis--"35,000 miles [of rail] was in place by the Civil War...By 1869, Americans could take the train from coast to coast." (Buk-Swienty, 48). As many know, the laying of these miles and miles of track from coast to coast was due, in a big part, to the painful and dangerous work taken on by Chinese Immigrants.

KCET Departures has a good article marking the history of our railway system and the contribution of thousands of Chinese immigrants. You can check it out here.

Or you can go here for more on the Transcontinental Railroad and Chinese immigrants.

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