Archive for the 'Railroad' Category

RAILROAD COMPLETED ON THIS DAY IN 1869

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On May 10, 1869, the presidents of the Union Pacific and Central
Pacific railroads met in Promontory, Utah, and drive a ceremonial
last spike into a rail line that connects their railroads. This made
transcontinental railroad travel possible for the first time in U.S.
history. No longer would western-bound travelers need to take
the long and dangerous journey by wagon train.

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FIRST LOAD OF ORANGES LEFT ON THIS DAY

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Destined to become one of the state’s major exports, the first
trainload of oranges grown by Southern
California farmers left
Los Angeles via refrigerator cars of the
transcontinental railroad.

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LAST SPIKE DRIVEN ON THIS DAY IN 1869

On May 10, 1869, the presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific
railroads met in Promontory, Utah, and drive a ceremonial last spike
into
a rail line that connects their railroads. This made
transcontinental railroad
travel possible for the first time in U.S. history. No longer would western-
bound travelers need to take the long and dangerous journey by wagon

train, and the West would surely lose some of its wild charm with the new
connection to the civilized East.


                       
                      The original "golden spike", on display 
                      at the Cantor Arts Museum at
Stanford
                        
University
.
                            

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GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF RAILROADS, 1917

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Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924)

Eight months after the United States enters World War I on behalf of the Allies, President Woodrow Wilson (above) announced the nationalization of a large majority of the country’s railroads under the Federal Possession and Control
Act.

The U.S. entry into the war in April 1917 coincided with a downturn in the
fortunes of the nation’s railroads: rising taxes and operations costs,
combined with prices that were fixed by law, had pushed many railroad
companies into receivership as early as late 1915. A year later, in a last-
minute bill passed through Congress, Wilson had forced the railroad
management to accept union demands for an eight-hour work day. Still,
many skilled workers were leaving the cash-poor railroads to work in the
booming armaments industry or to enlist in the war effort.

By the end of 1917, it seemed that the existing railroad system was not up
to the task of supporting the war effort and Wilson decided on nationalization.

Two days after his announcement, the U.S. Railroad Administration (USRA)
seized control. William McAdoo, Wilson’s secretary of the treasury, was 
appointed Director General of Railroads. They were subsequently divided
into three divisions—East, West and South. Passenger services were
streamlined, eliminating a significant amount of inessential travel. Over
100,000 new railroad cars and 1,930 steam engines were ordered–designed
to the latest standards–at a total cost of $380 million.

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HISTORY WAS MADE ON THIS DAY

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SANDY KOZEL

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Bono (Paul David Hewson) is 59 years old today.

The Irish born singer-songwriter is best known as the lead
vocalist and primary lyricist of the rock band U2.

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