Timeline 1865- 1900 The Western movement and the Guilded Age End of the War • 1865 The Confederate surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, brings an end to the Civil War. Railroads • The Union Pacific Railroad begins moving westward, laying track at an average rate of one mile per day. In California, Chinese laborers join the Central Pacific work gangs, providing the strength, organization and persistence needed to break through the mountains. Western Movement • 1866 Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving blaze the first cattle trail, driving a herd of 2,000 longhorns from Texas to New Mexico in what will become an annual tradition across the southern plains. 1867 • Nebraska enters the Union. • The United States purchases Alaska from Russia. 1868 • The Senate approves a treaty permitting unrestricted immigration from China. • A Golden Spike completes the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Point, Utah. 1869-1870 • 1869 Wyoming becomes the first place in the United States where women have the right to vote. • 1870 A California court rules in White vs. Flood that a black child may not attend a white school, setting the legal precedent for school segregation. Outlaws • 1875 Pinkerton agents fire-bomb the James family farm in Missouri in an unsuccessful attempt to kill the notorious outlaws. The incident stirs widespread sympathy for the James Gang, who are seen as populist enemies of the banks and railroads who "rob" the common man. Custer and Sitting Bull • 1876 On June 25, George Armstrong Custer, discovers Sitting Bull's encampment on the Little Bighorn River. Terry had ordered Custer to drive the enemy down the Little Bighorn toward Gibbon's forces, who were waiting at its mouth, but when he charges the village Custer discovers that he is outnumbered four-to-one. Hundreds of Lakota warriors overwhelm his troops, killing them to the last man, in a battle later called Custer's Last Stand. Custer Reconstruction • 1877 The last Federal troops withdraw from the South, bringing the Reconstruction era to an end. Chinese Exclusion Act • 1880 President Benjamin Hayes signs the Chinese Exclusion Treaty, which reverses the open-door policy set in 1868 and places strict limits both on the number of Chinese immigrants allowed to enter the United States and on the number allowed to become naturalized citizens. Billy the Kid • 1881 Legendary outlaw Billy the Kid, charged with more than 21 murders in a brief lifetime of crime, is finally brought to justice by Sheriff Pat Garrett, who trails The Kid for more than six months before killing him with a single shot at Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Jesse James • 1882 Jesse James, the notorious outlaw who was a veteran of Quantrill’s Raiders during the Civil War, is shot in the back by Robert Ford, a kinsman who hoped to collect a $5,000 reward. James' death ends the career of an outlaw gang that terrorized the West for more than a decade. Outlaws Railroads • 1883 The Northern Pacific Railroad, connecting the northwestern states to points east, is finally completed, after a 19- year struggle against treacherous terrain and intermitent financing. Railroads • Along the line, crews blast a 3,850-foot tunnel through solid granite and construct a 1,800-foot trestle. As a result, the round trip to the Columbia River that took Lewis and Clark two-and-a-half years in 1803 now takes just nine days. Populists • 1896 William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech against the restrictive gold standard makes him the Presidential candidate of the Democratic and Populist parties, but his appeal to rural voters in the West and South does not carry him to the White House.
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