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.
While the U.N. debated strategies for control of atomic energy, the U.S. Navy was preparing for nuclear tests on Bikini Island.
A central figure in the narrative of how the west was won, Wyatt Earp and his story became an American legend. Part of the Wild West collection.
From Joseph Smith's discovery of gold tablets to persecution, migration, and settlement in Utah, the film explores the history of the most American of religions.
The worst epidemic in American history killed over 600,000 Americans during World War I.
The dramatic story of the streamliners is one of remarkable achievements and opportunities lost.
A brilliant scientist, Oppenheimer was tasked with the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's legendary exploits helped create the myth of the American West that still endures today.
The Pennsylvania Railroad Company accomplished an enormous engineering feat, but destroyed a great architectural monument.