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
Brief history of the original Golden Spike ceremony
Dr. March Fong Eu
Remarks by Mr. Irvin Lai
President of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
Ceremonial reenactment of the driving of the Golden Spike
March Fong Eu and Leon Worden
Actual driving of the spike
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
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.