Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Remarks on the 125th Anniversary
of Connecting California by Rail.

By MARCH FONG EU,
Former California Secretary of State.
September 5, 2001.

[BACK TO SLIDE SHOW INDEX]

Commemoration of the 125th Anniversary of California's Golden Spike Ceremony
Sept. 5, 2001

Welcome

Brief history of the original Golden Spike ceremony
Mike McGinley

Remarks by
Dr. March Fong Eu

Remarks by Mr. Irvin Lai
President of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California

Presentations

Ceremonial reenactment of the driving of the Golden Spike
March Fong Eu and Leon Worden

Actual driving of the spike
Frank Mendoza

Lion Dance

We stand today on hallowed ground, consecrated by the blood, sweat and tears of 3,000 laborers of Chinese ancestry who were hired to build the railroad linking Los Angeles and San Francisco 125 years ago today.
    As with the building of the first Transcontinental Railroad, it was the Chinese laborers who carried out the vision of railroad magnate Charles Crocker, doing what others would not, or could not, do.
    They battled solid rock, blistering heat, and desiccating winds.
    Cave-ins, boiler explosions and breaking cables claimed lives and limbs.
    As they cut their way through the San Fernando mountains, their daily progress was measured by fractions of an inch, not by feet or yards or rods.
    The 7,000-foot-long San Fernando Tunnel remains as one of the state's engineering marvels.
    For most of 1875 and 1876, they trudged forward from the south and from the north.
    And 125 years ago today, the rails met here at Lang Station with the driving of a Golden Spike.
    Chinese laborers had, once again, done the impossible.
    But they received no credit for their triumph.
    In fact, the final 1,000 feet of track was laid by Caucasian workers ... adding insult to the racist injury the Chinese routinely endured at the time.
    This afternoon, we pause to commemorate those who linked California with steel 125 years ago.
    We pause to honor the Chinese laborers who made it happen and their spirit that lives on today.

Remarks delivered at the 125th anniversary celebration of the driving of the gold spike at Lang Station.

RETURN TO TOP ]   RETURN TO MAIN INDEX ]   PHOTO CREDITS ]   BIBLIOGRAPHY ]   BOOKS FOR SALE ]
SCVHistory.com is another service of SCVTV, a 501c3 Nonprofit • Site contents ©SCVTV • Additional copyrights apply