Sunday, May 24, 2015

Celebrating the Chinese Workers Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

Stephen Magagnini reports on a gathering earlier this month at the California State Railroad Museum.  Several hundred of the region’s leading Chinese Americans joined Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson in welcoming a delegation from the Chinese consulate general in San Francisco to see a photo display featuring murals, figurines and sculptures depicting Chinese railroad workers and celebrating the 150th anniversary of the building of the transcontinental railroad over the Sierra Nevada.

More than 12,000 Chinese workers took on a challenge that other Americans workers wouldn’t, getting paid between $28 and $40 a month to work 12 to 14 hour days, often in blizzards and blazing heat on cliffs that had to be blasted. 

Secrettown Trestle_N_4396

Photo from California History Room, California State Library


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