I share this with you because I’m a lover of train travel and I’m fascinated by people and places.
National Train Day is a coast-to-coast celebration of America’s love of trains. It marks the anniversary of the driving of the “golden spike” completing the transcontinental railroad in Promontory Summit, Utah, 145 years ago. Sponsored by Amtrak, 2014 is the 7th National Train Day and all events are free.
Amtrak, in a recent message to their employees: Trains. They go around Christmas trees. People collect them. They can be cartoon characters that entertain children. They move people and things from one place to another. But the great thing is, that’s not all—the popularity of trains extends further than many realize. They facilitate connections. They unite families. They help communities to build and grow.
Baltimore’s B&O Railroad Museum is planning a special day:
National Train Day at the B&O
Saturday, May 10
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Celebrate National Train Day at the birthplace of American railroading! Visitor enjoy programming highlighting the B&O Railroad’s contributions to railroading and guided tours of its one-of-a-kind collection, including equipment rarely open for public like the #908 Office Car, the MARC #1 observation car, and the cab of the diesel locomotive PM #11 SW-1 switcher. Visitors who present an Amtrak ticket stub on this day will receive free admission.
The War Came By Train Lecture Series
Controversial Commander: Maryland’s Major General Lew Wallace
Speaker: Gail Stephens
Saturday, May 10
Major General Lew Wallace was assigned to the military command of Maryland in March of 1864. At age 35, he was the youngest major general in the Union Army.
Having fallen into disfavor wit Generals Grant and Halleck, he repaired much of the damage by fighting the Battle of Monocacy, “The battle that saved Washington” in July of 1864. Afterwards he was one of the judges that tried the Lincoln conspirators, served as governor of New Mexico, and wrote the epic novel Ben-Her.
Mrs. Stephens will introduce you to this man whose life indeed reads like one of his novels. Gail Stephens has a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and did graduate work at both Johns Hopkins and Harvard Universities. After retiring from the Department of Defense in 1994 she became a serious student of the American Civil War with a specific interest in General Lew Wallace and the Battle of Monocacy. In 2002, she won the National Park Service’s E. W. Peterkin Award for her volunteer work at the Monocacy National Battlefield and her many contributions to the public’s understanding of Civil War history.
Published in 2010 her book, Shadow of Shiloh: Major Lew Wallace in the Civil War, won the Civil War Forum of New York City’s William Seward Award for best Civil War biography.