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Op-Eds and Speeches

Introducing the 'Golden Spike 150th Anniversary Act'

Deseret News

Nearly 100 years after the Golden Spike was driven at Utah’s Promontory Summit, Governor Cal Rampton proclaimed May 10th to represent "the historic climax in a long struggle to bind together this nation with the iron rails which reached from ocean to ocean." The governor's proclamation reminds us that May 10th "stands as a tribute to those men of vision who foresaw the greatness of an empire which should stretch from coast to coast, bound together not only with iron rails, but also with common interests ..."

We are now nearly 150 years removed from the completion our nation’s first transcontinental railroad and we remain bound together as a grateful nation for the boldness and ingenuity of those who laid the rails. As we prepare to celebrate the meeting of the Central Pacific's Jupiter and the Union Pacific's No. 119, we ought to remember that history was written right here in Utah's backyard. 

Today, as people gather to celebrate the Spike 150 Countdown Kickoff in remembrance of this historic place and time, I am introducing the Golden Spike 150th Anniversary Act. This legislation will elevate the very place where the last spike was driven and designate it the Golden Spike National Historical Park. The designation of National Historical Park is reserved for those sites whose place in the American story is without equal. 

In LaRue County, Kentucky you can visit the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park. In Seneca County, New York you can visit the Women's Rights National Historical Park and walk inside the home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In Ohio, you can visit the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and tour the bicycle shop where the Wright brothers began their quest to conquer the sky.

The Golden Spike 150th Anniversary Act further acknowledges Utah's Promontory Summit as a place that changed the world. This new Park will not only preserve the history made on that spring day in 1869, but also the herculean efforts which led to the driving of the spike and the new course of history that followed. 

The Act creates the Transcontinental Railroad Network to inform and educate. The Network's purpose is to develop a system that highlights the history, construction, and legacy of the Railroad. The Network will be a cooperative effort that looks at the significant railway stations and all locations with strong ties to the development of the Railroad.

On May 10th, 1869, it was resolved, "that the people of Utah – the great pioneers of the Rocky Mountains – received with acclamation the glad news of the completion of the mighty work to which, as a people, they had contributed their part; and did thank God for its accomplishment."

Little else in American history rivals this most colossal and daring enterprise. The joining of the rails at Utah's Promontory Summit encouraged the pioneering of both spirit and commerce. When that golden spike was driven, America welcomed a new frontier.    

U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop represents Utah's 1st Congressional District.