Today is a notable American anniversary: the Golden Spike that completed the first North American transcontinental railroad was driven into place in Promontory Summit, Utah, on this day in 1869. There was a big celebration four years ago on the Spike’s 150th anniversary, and the many educational resources developed for that occasion are all still available online at spike150.org.
You may also be able to teach a little homeschool lesson about this important historical anniversary today just by checking your pocket change, since the iconic Golden Spike appeared on the 2007 Utah state quarter:
For the hundredth anniversary of the Spike in 1969, the U.S. Mint produced a beautiful centennial commemorative medal (not one that you’re likely to find in your pocket change):
The Post Office has been in the game, too, and it marked the 75th anniversary of the Spike in 1944 with a beautifully engraved commemorative stamp:
It would be hard to overestimate the historical importance railroads in the development of human society from the nineteenth century to today. For a good ten-minute lesson to share with your homeschoolers this week, turn to page 293 in your recommended homeschool history encyclopedia for an introduction to rail and the Industrial Revolution, and then to page 310 for notes on the North American transcontinental railroad and the settlement of the American West.
What historical explorations have you made in your homeschool this Leo Term? 😊
❡ Here, said the year: This is one of our regular posts about Homeschool Holidays & History. Print your own copy of our River Houses calendar of educational events to follow along with us, and add your name to our weekly mailing list to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🗞
❡ Support our work: If you enjoy the educational materials we distribute each week, please support our work and the noble cause of homeschooling by making a small donation as a Friend of the River Houses! Your support keeps us going and growing! 😊