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Photos: 150th Anniversary Celebration Of The Golden Spike

Photo of crowd and trains.
Brian Albers / KUER
Organizers planned for more than 10,000 people to attend the transcontinental railroad’s 150th anniversary at Promontory Summit, Utah, north of Salt Lake City, on Friday.";

Under blue skies, thousands gathered Friday at Promontory Summit nearly 100 miles north of Salt Lake City to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad.

On a high plateau surrounded by rolling green hills, people from around the world assembled to watch re-enactments of the driving of the final spike and of the telegram message sent across the country when the railroad was completed on May 10, 1869: D-O-N-E. Done.

The celebration included speeches and musical performances set against the backdrop of the two replica steam engines — the Jupiter and No. 119 — facing each other on the site where the rails from the eastern and western United States originally met.

This year, speakers paid special tribute to voices not heard in previous celebrations: a diverse pool of railroad laborers. In particular, were the Chinese workers without whom the railroad could not have been completed, and Native American tribes who saw their way of life brutalized as a result of the railroad’s construction.

Events will continue at Promontory through the weekend. As of publication (5/10/19, 7 p.m. MT), tickets are still available for Sunday at Spike150.org.

Men on horseback.
Credit Brian Albers / KUER
Men ride on horses Friday at the celebration marking the completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit.
Native American community members drumming.
Credit Brian Albers / KUER
George Gover (top center) is a member of the Skidi Pawnee Nation from Nebraska who works for the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation. He looks on as others drum near teepees Friday, May 10 at Promontory Summit, Utah.
Golden spike spectators.
Credit Brian Albers / KUER
Spectators watch festivities marking the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad on Friday.
Actors reenact historical events at Promontory Summit, Utah.
Credit Brian Albers / KUER
Actors reenact the completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah during the Golden Spike anniversary celebration on Friday.
Visitors taking photos.
Credit Brian Albers / KUER
Visitors to Golden Spike National Historical Park pose for photos next to an exhibit.
Visitors pose for photos.
Credit Brian Albers / KUER
Visitors to Golden Spike National Historical Park at Promontory, Utah pose for photos on a replica wagon.
Photo of crown.
Credit Brian Albers / KUER
A sea of onlookers gathered at Promontory Summit on Friday, May 10 to commemorate the completion of the transcontinental in Utah.
Photo of steam engine.
Credit Elaine Clark / KUER
Steam locomotive No. 844, a high speed passenger engine, was the last steam engine built by the Union Pacific in 1944. At the Ogden Union Station.
Photo of big boy engine.
Credit Elaine Clark / KUER
Union Pacific completed restoration of No. 4014 — the only Big Boy steam engine operating today — in 2019 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. At the Ogden Union Station.

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