Thursday, June 5, 2008

Utah Trivia Thursday for June 5, 2008

When it comes to transportation and communication in the United States, Utah has played a central role when linking the east and west coasts.

The transcontinental telegraph line was connected in Salt Lake City Utah. The telegraph line coming from Carson City, Nevada was completed on October 18, 1861 and the line coming from Omaha, Nebraska was completed on October 24, 1861. This finally connected the east and west coasts and made communication much faster and easier. In fact, two days after the telegraph line was completed, the Pony Express (which also traveled through Utah) went out of business.

The first transcontinental railroad was completed on May 10, 1869 at Promontory Point, Utah (northwest of Salt Lake City) The Union Pacific built their line coming from the east, starting at Council Bluffs, Iowa and laid 1,087 miles of track. The Central Pacific began in Sacramento, California and laid 690 miles of track. The ceremony to finalize the completion of the railroad at Promontory, Utah became known as the driving of the Golden Spike.

In 1914, on the Utah/Nevada border the Bell Telephone Company of Nevada and the Mountain State Telephone and Telegraph Company spliced together the final wires which finally connected the east and west coasts by telephone. The final telephone pole with a historical marker still stand today in the parking lot of the Silver Smith Casino in Wendover, Utah.

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