Friday, September 6, 2019

Chinese at the 1869 Golden Spike Ceremony

The 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad Completion was celebrated earlier this year. The photograph of that historic 1869 event, the driving of the Golden Spike, excluded Chinese workers.

The 1924 film, “The Iron Horse”, rewrote history by including some Chinese workers and Native Americans at the Golden Spike ceremony. The John Ford-directed film can be seen on YouTube. During the Golden Spike sequence, some Chinese workers can be seen at the two-hour and twenty-fifth minute mark. Below is a screen-shot of the Chinese workers cheering two minutes later.

Further Reading
John Ford: The Searcher, 1894–1973
John Ford: Hollywood's Old Master
Voices from the Railroad: Stories by Descendants of Chinese Railroad Workers
Spike 150
Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum: Chinese-American Contribution to Transcontinental Railroad

Related Posts
Chinese Working on the Railroad
Golden Spike Ceremony: "… Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and negro workman …"
David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and the Railroad
Chinese Laborers at the Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad

(Next post on Friday: Charles Fang, Actor)

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