Today in History: Choo-Choo Edition

final-spike.jpg

I swear, if it were closer to January I would make a New Year?s resolution to do these ?Today in History? posts much earlier in the day, but I guess I?ll just have to start getting to the office even earlier. Blame DC?s worsening traffic. I certainly do.

Today?s ?TIH? covers that famous day in 1869 when a golden railroad spike was driven on Promontory Summit in what is now Utah, linking the first transcontinental rail line and forever changing transportation in America.

Four years earlier, on May 10, 1865, Union troops captured Jefferson Davis, who had been president of the Confederate States, thwarting his planned escape to Texas where he had hoped to establish Confederacy version 2.0. He would be dispatched to a Virginia prison where he sat for two years before his release.

(Image from LOC?s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog)

3 Comments

  1. K.G. Schneider
    May 11, 2007 at 2:05 am

    O.k., just back from a LibraryLand road trip and catching up, and you officially made my all-time rock-star list by using the phrase “choo-choo.” You clearly get just how funny it is for the Library of Congress to say that.

    “Confederacy version 2.0″ is also amusing, but “choo-choo” is giggle-out-loud classic.

    Thanks for a great blog… and some of us would like to see the LoC, maybe through pictures accompanied by your wonderful prose.

  2. Matt Raymond
    May 11, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Thanks for the nice comment, K.G. I’m probably even a bit more whimsical than I come across here, but I do take my job seriously, so probably best to dial it back a notch sometimes, even on the blog.

    What kind of pictures would be interesting? I have a post ready to go about last night’s poetry reading from the US and UK poets-laureate but am hoping to include a picture in it.

    I’m also thinking about just walking across the street to the Jefferson Building sometime and giving people something of my own version of a tour — at least, maybe in serialized form.

    I also want to try to use more audio — perhaps podcast-like interviews with Dr. Billington and others — although the Library-wide podcast policy is still percolating. (Aside from some National Book Festival podcasts, we’ve focused almost exclusively on streaming content.)

  3. K.G. Schneider
    May 12, 2007 at 8:52 am

    Share pictures that tell stories about the world of LOC… grab our hearts and minds.

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