May 10, 1869. On the dusty, barren plains of Promontory Summit, Utah, a crowd is gathered to celebrate an American milestone – the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the first piece of infrastructure to connect the two sides of the United States. But this achievement didn’t come without great sacrifice, especially from Chinese immigrants, who made up more than 90% of the Central Pacific Railroad company workforce. How did these workers come to build what might be the most important transportation project in US history? And how were these Chinese immigrants accepted by American society, before the tides turned to violence and hate?
Special thanks to Gordon Chang, professor of history at Stanford University and author of Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad (https://amzn.to/3hgDtOH).