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National Train Day

Saturday, May 10, 2014

National Train Day

When: On or near May 9th, May 10, 2014

The year 1869 was a really exciting time in America. The Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads were speeding across the wild, American frontier, laying tracks for what would soon become the first Transcontinental rail line. Construction was often done at great peril, as vast areas of the west were truly wild and unsettled. Once completed, train service would be connected from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, making the world a whole lot smaller. It would also change the face of America.

On May 9, 1869 the tracks of the two railroad companies met up at Promontory Summit, Utah. A golden spike was driven into the final connection of the two tracks. The first Continental rail line was 1,776 miles long. Towns, big and small, would soon sprout up along the route.

Here are just some of the ways you can celebrate this special day:

Take a train ride
Go to a train museum
Explore train and railroad history.
Join a train club - there are many out there
Watch a movie that has trains in it.

More Information:


Origin of National Train Day:
This special day was created by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. It was recently created, and first celebrated in 2008. One would think that this special day would have been created many, many years ago.

This is referred to as a "National" day. However, we did not find any congressional records or presidential proclamations for this day.

This Day in History May 10th

A sunspot is observed by Han Dynasty astronomers during the reign of Emperor Cheng of Han, one of the earliest dated sunspot observations in China. (28 BC)

Siege of Jerusalem: Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, opens a full-scale assault on Jerusalem and attacks the city's Third Wall to the northwest. (70)

Amerigo Vespucci allegedly leaves Cádiz for his first voyage to the New World. (1497)

Christopher Columbus visits the Cayman Islands and names them Las Tortugas after the numerous turtles there. (1503)

Jacques Cartier visits Newfoundland. (1534)

American Revolutionary War: A small Colonial militia led by Ethan Allen and Colonel Benedict Arnold captures Fort Ticonderoga. (1775)

American Revolutionary War: Representatives from the Thirteen Colonies begin the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. (1775)

First Barbary War: The Barbary pirates of Tripoli declare war on the United States of America. (1801)

Panic of 1837: New York City banks fail, and unemployment reaches record levels. (1837)

– Astor Place Riot: A riot breaks out at the Astor Opera House in Manhattan, New York City over a dispute between actors Edwin Forrest and William Charles Macready, killing at least 25 and injuring over 120. (1849)

Indian Rebellion of 1857: In India, the first war of Independence begins. Sepoys mutiny against their commanding officers at Meerut. (1857)

American Civil War: Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson dies eight days after he is accidentally shot by his own troops. (1863)

American Civil War: Colonel Emory Upton leads a 10-regiment "Attack-in-depth" assault against the Confederate works at The Battle of Spotsylvania, which, though ultimately unsuccessful, would provide the idea for the massive assault against the Bloody Angle on May 12. Upton is slightly wounded but is immediately promoted to Brigadier general. (1864)

American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is captured by Union troops near Irwinville, Georgia. (1865)

American Civil War: In Kentucky, Union soldiers ambush and mortally wound Confederate raider William Quantrill, who lingers until his death on June 6. (1865)

The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, is completed at Promontory Summit, Utah (not Promontory Point, Utah) with the golden spike. (1869)

Victoria Woodhull becomes the first woman nominated for President of the United States. (1872)

The Supreme Court of the United States rules in Nix v. Hedden that a tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit, under the Tariff Act of 1883. (1893)

Mother's Day is observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia. (1908)

J. Edgar Hoover is appointed the Director of the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation, and remains so until his death in 1972. (1924)

Censorship: In Germany, the Nazis stage massive public book burnings. (1933)

World War II: German fighters accidentally bomb the German city of Freiburg. (1940)

World War II: German raids on British shipping convoys and military airfields begin. (1940)

World War II: Germany invades Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. (1940)

World War II: Winston Churchill is appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. (1940)

World War II: Invasion of Iceland by the United Kingdom. (1940)

World War II: The House of Commons in London is damaged by the Luftwaffe in an air raid. (1941)

World War II: Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland to try to negotiate a peace deal between the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany. (1941)

First successful launch of an American V-2 rocket at White Sands Proving Ground. (1946)

Bill Haley & His Comets release "Rock Around the Clock", the first rock and roll record to reach number one on the Billboard charts. (1954)

The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes Operation Sandblast, the first underwater circumnavigation of the earth. (1960)

Marvel Comics publishes the first issue of The Incredible Hulk. (1962)

Vietnam War: The Battle of Dong Ap Bia begins with an assault on Hill 937. It will ultimately become known as Hamburger Hill. (1969)

Bobby Orr scores "The Goal" to win the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals, for the Boston Bruins' fourth NHL championship in their history. (1970)

Sony introduces the Betamax videocassette recorder in Japan. (1975)

F.B.I. agent Robert Hanssen is sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for selling United States secrets to Moscow for $1.4 million in cash and diamonds. (2002)

A hand grenade thrown by Vladimir Arutinian lands about 65 feet (20 metres) from U.S. President George W. Bush while he is giving a speech to a crowd in Tbilisi, Georgia, but it malfunctions and does not detonate. (2005)

The Damascus bombings were carried out using a pair of car bombs detonated by suicide bombers outside of a military intelligence complex in Damascus, Syria, killing 55 people and injuring 400 others (2012)

One World Trade Center becomes the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. (2013)
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