Thomas Durant re-directed the Union Pacific line in a crazy oxbow shape leaving Omaha, Nebraska, simply to add miles to the line -- and money to his pocket.
Collis Huntington sent spies to Union Pacific's suppliers and paid off a Capitol Hill doorkeeper to inform him about the UP's activities in Washington.
Crews from both companies cut corners, building hastily and poorly while racing to lay as many miles of track as possible. Pure profit was the motive. "The line we want now is the one we can build the soonest," wrote Central Pacific surveyor Samuel Montague, "even if we rebuild immediately."
Shortly after the site launched in 1999, we asked our users to answer this controversial question. Below are the results from this poll.
Do you think the railroad could have been completed without backroom deals and criminal profiteering?
Total number of poll participants: 5228
Of the participants polled, 1860 watched at least half of the film; of those, 890 said the film influenced their vote.
The story of the polio crusade pays tribute to a time when Americans banded together to conquer a terrible disease.
The story of Native peoples’ valiant resistance to expulsion from their lands and the extinction of their culture.
During World War II, more than a thousand women signed up to fly with the U.S. military as WASPS.
The international race to develop biological weapons during the 20th century.
The worst epidemic in American history killed over 600,000 Americans during World War I.
"The Wizard of Menlo Park," Inventor Thomas Edison, built the first practical light bulb and revolutionized the world.
It was the deadliest workplace accident in New York City’s history.
The Klondike Gold Rush in Canada's Yukon Territory saw 100,000 people make the treacherous journey in search of riches.