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The golden spike (also known as The Last Spike[1]) is the ceremonial final spike driven by Leland Stanford to join the rails of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States connecting the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory.
Completing the last link in the transcontinental railroad with a spike of gold was the brainchild of David Hewes, a San Francisco financier and contractor.[3] The spike had been manufactured earlier that year especially for the event by the William T. May God continue the unity of our Country, as this Railroad unites the two great Oceans of the world. A second golden spike, exactly like the one from the ceremony, was cast and engraved at the same time. With the locomotives drawn so near, the crowd pressed so closely around Stanford and the other railroad officials that the ceremony became somewhat disorganized, leading to varying accounts of the actual events.
To drive the final spike, Stanford lifted a silver spike maul and drove the spike into the tie, completing the line.
After the ceremony, the Golden Spike was donated to the Stanford Museum (now Cantor Arts Center) in 1898. The Jupiter leads the train that carried Leland Stanford, one of the "Big Four" owners of the Central Pacific Railroad, and other railway officials to the Golden Spike Ceremony.
Although the Promontory event marked the completion of the transcontinental railroad line, it did not actually mark the completion of a seamless coast-to-coast rail network: neither Sacramento nor Omaha was a seaport, nor did they have rail connections until after they were designated as the termini. In 1904 a new railroad route called the Lucin Cutoff was built by-passing the Promontory location to the south. In 1942, the old rails over Promontory Summit were salvaged for the war effort; the event was marked by a ceremonial "undriving" of the last iron spike.
In 1957, Congress established the Golden Spike National Historic Site to preserve the area around Promontory Summit as closely as possible to its appearance in 1869.
For the May 10, 1969, centennial of the driving of the last spike, the High Iron Company ran a steam-powered excursion train round trip from New York City to Promontory. On May 10, 2006, on the anniversary of the driving of the spike, Utah announced that its state quarter design would be a depiction of the driving of the spike.
An elaborate four day event called the "Golden Spike Days Celebration" was held in Omaha, NE, from April 26 to 29, 1939, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the joining of the UP and CPRR rails and driving of the Last Spike at Promontory Summit, UT, in 1869.


Also included as a part of the overall celebration's major attractions was the Golden Spike Historical Exposition, a large assemblage of artifacts (including the Golden Spike itself), tools, equipment, photographs, documents, and other materials from the construction of the Pacific Railroad that were put on display at Omaha's Municipal Auditorium. In the fictional action adventure comedy film Wild Wild West (1999), the joining ceremony is the setting of an assassination attempt on then U.S. The Golden Spike Ceremony is depicted in the movie adaptation of The Lone Ranger (2013) starring Johnny Depp. The term last spike has been used to refer to one driven at the usually ceremonial completion of any new railroad construction projects, particularly those in which construction is undertaken from two disparate origins towards a meeting point. It was dropped into a pre-drilled hole in the laurel ceremonial last tie, and gently tapped into place with a silver ceremonial spike maul. Contrary to the myth that the Central Pacific's Chinese laborers were specifically excluded from the festivities, A.J. Stanford and Hewes missed the spike, but the single word "done" was nevertheless flashed by telegraph around the country.
The Mossdale Bridge, which was the final section across the San Joaquin River near Lathrop, California, was finally completed in September 1869 connecting Sacramento in California.[7] Passengers were required to cross the Missouri River between Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska, by boat until the building of the Union Pacific Missouri River Bridge in 1872. By going west across the Great Salt Lake from Ogden, Utah, to Lucin, Utah, the new railroad line shortened the distance by 43 miles and avoided curves and grades. The original event had been all but forgotten except by local residents, who erected a commemorative marker in 1943. O'Connor Engineering Laboratories in Costa Mesa, California, designed and built working replicas of the locomotives present at the original ceremony for the Park Service. The Golden Spike Centennial Limited transported over 100 passengers including, for the last leg into Salt Lake City, actor John Wayne. The center piece event of the celebration occurred on April 28 with the World Premiere of the Cecil B. The four days of events drew over 250,000 people to Omaha during its run, a number roughly equivalent to the city's then population.[20] The celebration was opened by President Franklin D. In May, 1969, the Inyo participated in the Golden Spike Centennial at Promontory, Utah, and then served as the replica of the Central Pacific's Jupiter (CPRR #60) at the Golden Spike National Historical Site, until the current replica was built in 1979.


Please improve this article by removing excessive or inappropriate external links, and converting useful links where appropriate into footnote references. In the United States, the event has come to be considered one of the first nationwide media events. Because of temperance feelings the liquor bottles held in the center of the picture were removed from some later prints. The Union Pacific Railroad also sent a special display train and the US Army Transportation Corp sent a steam-powered 3-car special from Fort Eustis, Virginia.
DeMille feature motion picture Union Pacific which took place simultaneously in the city's Omaha, Orpheum, and Paramount theaters. The locomotives were moved forward until their "cowcatchers" met, and photographs were taken. The years after the war saw a revival of interest in the event; the first re-enactment was staged in 1948.
The film features an elaborate reenactment of the original Golden Spike ceremony (filmed in Canoga Park, CA) as the motion picture's closing scene for which DeMille borrowed the actual Golden Spike from Stanford University to be held by Dr. Eight Chinese laid the last rail, and three of these men, Ging Cui, Wong Fook, and Lee Shao, lived long enough to also participate in the 50th anniversary parade.
Immediately afterwards, the golden spike and the laurel tie were removed, lest they be stolen, and replaced with a regular iron spike and normal tie. Harkness (Stanley Andrews) as he delivered his remarks prior to its driving to complete the railroad.



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