Rail 150th Sub

Iconic Andrew J. Russell photograph, “East Meets West,” from May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah. This is one of numerous original photographs from the Union Pacific collection stored at the Union Pacific Museum in Council Bluffs.

The Union Pacific Museum is hosting a lecture by historian Dr. Alessandra Link on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Link will explore how indigenous communities engaged, often violently, with railroad construction crews during the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, and the railroad’s impact on Pawnees, Paiutes, Shoshones, Lakotas and other indigenous peoples.

Admission is free and the lecture will take place on the second floor of the museum.

Link is a historian specializing in American West and Native American histories, with a particular interest in colonialism, culture, and technology intersections.

Her current book project, “The Iron Horse in Indian Country: Native Americans and Railroads in the U.S. West,” studies how indigenous peoples responded to railroad expansion in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Link’s research has been supported by Southern Methodist University’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Huntington and Newberry libraries. She has also written op-eds on the history of gun technologies in the United States and the significance of National Endowment for the Humanities funding in her home state of Kentucky.

In 2019, the Union Pacific Museum is reflecting upon the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, a pivotal moment in American history. Utilizing an enhanced calendar of programming and expanded community partners, this complex history will be explored from multiple perspectives and the shared experiences of people whose personal and family histories have been touched by the railroad.

The museum will explore viewpoints from the Chinese, Irish and many others who helped to build the railroad, to indigenous people displaced by the oncoming railroad and the ensuing conflict with the U.S. government.

The museum is located at 200 Pearl St. Council Bluffs and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. Admission is always free. Please visit uprrmuseum.orgor call 712-329-8307 for more information.

To find out more about local events surrounding the 150th 2019 visit: unleashcb.com/sites/anniversary/.

The Union Pacific Railroad Museum is housed in a historic Carnegie Library building where visitors will discover an extensive compilation of artifacts, photographs, documents and equipment from more than 150 years of our nation’s most ambitious endeavors — including constructing the transcontinental railroad and settling the West.

Among the most popular museum exhibits are “America Travels by Rail,” which celebrates the height of passenger travel; the Lincoln Collection, featuring artifacts from President Abraham Lincoln’s rail car and funeral; and an exhibit that features the technology and innovation that sustain Union Pacific as a railroad industry leader.

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