Did you know? The 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad and the golden spike is May 10.
Whether you are looking for homeschool resources, class materials, or after-school enrichment, you’ll find affordable resources here to help you learn about trains, transportation, and the events leading up to May 10, 1869, with these fun titles for all ages! Find more transcontinental railroad trivia at the end of this post!
30 Days of History: Early American Transportation$3.49 Add to cart
A Nation Grows: Famous Quotes by Daniel Boone Copywork$1.99 Add to cart
An Expanding Nation Research Pack$2.49 Add to cart
Copywork from the Journals of Lewis and Clark$1.99 Select options
Echoes of the Past Coloring Book-Level A$0.99 Add to cart
Echoes of the Past Copywork$1.99 Select options
Famous Native Americans Coloring Book-Level B$0.99 Add to cart
Gold Rush Coloring Book-Level A$0.99 Add to cart
Handwriting Practice with Trains$0.99 Select options
Johnny Appleseed and the Fruits of the Spirit Coloring Book-Level B$1.49 Add to cart
Johnny Appleseed K-4th Unit Study$3.99 Add to cart
Lewis and Clark Coloring Book-Level A$0.99 Add to cart
Life on the Prairie Coloring Book-Level A$0.99 Add to cart
People of the Transcontinental Railroad Notebooking Journal$1.49 Add to cart
Story of America Moving West Coloring Book-Level B or C$2.99 Select options
U.S. History: Building America$2.49 Add to cart
U.S. History: Growth and Change$4.49 Add to cart
Westward Expansion Coloring Book-Level A$1.49 Add to cart
Learn more about the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad and the golden spike with these fun trivia facts!
Transcontinental railroad people trivia:
- The first engineer to systematically explore the western Sierra Nevada Mountains was Theodore Judah. He mapped the route of the Central Pacific Railroad.
- The workforce that accomplished this monumental feat numbered more than 20,000. It included a large number of Chinese and Irish immigrants as well as immigrants from Germany, Italy, Russia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and others. African Americans and former Civil War soldiers from both the Union and the Confederacy also were part of the force.
- The four California merchants who founded the Central Pacific Railroad were Collis P. Huntingdon, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker.
- Leland Stanford later founded Stanford University.
- Thomas Durant was one of the owners of the Union Pacific and was a major force behind the building of the transcontinental railroad.
- President Abraham Lincoln signed the first and second Pacific Railway Acts to authorize the building of the transcontinental railroad.
- Brothers Jack Casement and Dan Casement helped oversee workers for the Union Pacific.
- Charles Crocker supervised workers for the Central Pacific.
- William Cody was hired to hunt buffalo for the Union Pacific. His skill later earned him the nickname “Buffalo Bill.”
- Poet Bret Harte wrote a poem to commemorate the meeting of the two railroads in Promontory, Utah.
- The officials arrived at the ceremony at Promontory Point, Utah, on the Jupiter and the No. 119 locomotives.
Transcontinental railroad place trivia:
- The Central Pacific Railroad began their route eastward from Sacramento, California.
- The Union Pacific Railroad began their route westward from Omaha, Nebraska.
- The two routes met in Promontory, Utah.
- North Platte, Nebraska, was built almost overnight when winter froze the progress of the Union Pacific and about 2,000 men needed a place to stay.
- Towns throughout the West grew up either as the railroad came through or were built in anticipation of the laborers and settlers who would soon arrive.
- While the Central Pacific dug a tunnel through the Sierra Mountains, they sent 3,000 Chinese laborers over the mountains to keep laying track on the other side. The men had to move rails, spikes, hammers, food, three train engines, and forty railroad cars over the mountains by foot or by horse.
- The celebratory parade in Chicago, Illinois, stretched for seven miles.
- The Liberty Bell was rung in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- One hundred cannons were fired in a salute in New York.
Transcontinental railroad dates trivia:
- The Central Pacific Railroad was founded in 1861.
- The Central Pacific Railroad began their part of the transcontinental railroad in 1863.
- The Union Pacific Railroad began their part of the transcontinental railroad in 1865.
- The two routes met on May 10, 1869, after laying new track across 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers).
- President Lincoln signed the first Pacific Railway Act July 1, 1862, and the second Pacific Railway Act July 2, 1864.
- On April 28, 1869, as part of a bet between Thomas Durant of the Union Pacific and Charles Crocker, supervisor of the Central Pacific, the Central Pacific crew laid just over 10 miles of track in one day. It is said that equaled 25,800 ties and 3,520 rails.