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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
10th May 1869: The Golden Spike Ceremony
Completing the last link in the US transcontinental railroad with a spike of gold was the brainchild of David Hewes, a San Francisco financier and contractor. The spike had been manufactured earlier that year especially for the event by the William T. Garratt Foundry in San Francisco. Two of the sides were engraved with the names of the railroad officers and directors. A special tie of polished California laurel was chosen to complete the line where the spike would be driven. The ceremony was originally to be held on May 8, 1869 (the date actually engraved on the spike), but it was postponed two days because of bad weather and a labour dispute that delayed the arrival of the Union Pacific side of the rail line.
On May 10, in anticipation of the ceremony, Union Pacific No. 119 and Central Pacific No. 60 (better known as the Jupiter) locomotives were drawn up face-to-face on Promontory Summit. It is unknown how many people attended the event; estimates run from as low as 500 to as many as 3,000; government and railroad officials and track workers were present to witness the event.
The golden spike was made of 17.6-carat (73%) copper-alloyed gold, and weighed 14.03 troy ounces (436 g). It was dropped into a pre-drilled hole in the laurel ceremonial last tie, and gently tapped into place with a silver ceremonial spike maul. The spike was engraved on all four sides:
Side 1: The Pacific Railroad ground broken January 8, 1863, and completed May 8, 1869.
Side 2: Directors of the C. P. R. R. of Cal. Hon. Leland Stanford. C. P. Huntington. E. B. Crocker. Mark Hopkins. A. P. Stanford. E. H. Miller Jr.
Side 3: Officers. Hon. Leland Stanford. Presdt. C. P. Huntington Vice Presdt. E. B. Crocker. Atty. Mark Hopkins. Tresr. Chas Crocker Gen. Supdt. E. H. Miller Jr. Secty. S. S. Montague. Chief Engr.
Side 4: May God continue the unity of our Country, as this Railroad unites the two great Oceans of the world. Presented by David Hewes San Francisco
A second golden spike, exactly like the one from the ceremony, was cast and engraved at the same time. It was held, unknown to the public, by the Hewes family until 2005. This second spike is now on permanent display, along with Thomas Hill's famous painting The Last Spike, at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
The bread run
Business promotional work
Twitter Followers = 2,231 (up 2)
Never-followed unfollowers eliminated = 0
Followed unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 2
Spammers not followed back = 0
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
I woke this morning with a certain inexplicable zing! My knee feels better (though still far from healed), my mind is in the right place, and my primal appetites have settled back down to normal. Even on Twitter there was a zing - I had no spammers, bots or unfollowers - a rare event!
Plenty of challenges remain of course. A new generation of kids is on the street and need some lessons in respecting private property. There have been numerous encroachments of late. I suspect one of them has also scratched off a patch of coating from the garden gate. There will always be challenges anyway, and it's about how you respond to them.
Whilst my mindfulness is strong these days, there is always room for further development. My focus has of late been on intuition, but now I have intuition, firmly in command, I can return to a previous internal project - Total Internal Silence - no random thought whatsoever, putting my attention 100% in the moment.
I'm already well on the way - I can already consciously generate internal silence at will, in itself a fantastic achievement. I'm now aiming for the complete absence of internal dialogue at all times - I will then be at the point of Absolute Liberation - as free as a mind can be!
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Are you developing and improving?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Dry and cloudy in the morning, heavy rain therafter
1011 millibars and static
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
Have you ever stood on a glacier? It's really cool! :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Jodi Miller on older adult dating
The splash tetra is a fish that jumps out of the water and lays its eggs on the leaves of trees.
9. ZEN WISDOM
All considerations of position, wealth and reputation aside, the greatest and most enduring triumph as a human being lies in knowing that one is doing one's best.