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Union Pacific Railroad Offers Free Educational History Toolkit

As part of its 150th anniversary celebration, Union Pacific Railroad introduced an engaging new teacher's resource kit as a tool to help students learn the history of America's first transcontinental railroad. Completed in 1869, the transcontinental railroad connected the west to the east and opened it for development and commerce. The teacher's resource kit will help educators meet national standards for history and social studies courses for grades 3-8.

"Because Union Pacific's history is so closely tied to American history, and with so many schools on a tight budget, we believe our 150th anniversary is the perfect time to provide a free educational resource for teachers," said Donna Kush, Union Pacific assistant vice president – Corporate Communications. "Students will especially enjoy how the story of the transcontinental railroad's construction comes to life with stereo card reproductions and 3-D viewers for an engaging experience."

Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act in 1862, creating Union Pacific and authorizing construction of the transcontinental railroad. Union Pacific began building to the west in Omaha, Neb., where the railroad's headquarters remains today.

The teacher's resource kit details the railroad industry's challenges and accomplishments during construction. Once completed, the transcontinental railroad reduced the journey across the country from four-to-six months to just one week.

Developed by the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, the resource includes:

  • 10 Andrew Russell stereo card reproductions from the Union Pacific collection;
  • A plastic stereo card viewer to experience the 3-D effect;
  • Materials in textbook-style reading;
  • Suggested additional student reading and informational websites;
  • A foldout poster depicting the iconic photograph of the completion of the transcontinental railroad.

Educators can order a teacher's resource kit by submitting an online request form.

For more Union Pacific history, visit the company's 150th anniversary timeline.