Sunday, December 30, 2007

"The Associates: Four Capitalists Who Created California'

"The Associates: Four Capitalists Who Created California" by Richard Rayner, W.W. Norton/Atlas Books. Book review by Wendy Smith, © Los Angeles Times, DATE.

" ... a famous photograph taken on May 10, 1869 ... doesn't show the ferocious competition that preceded it, a race across the continent funded by two groups of cutthroat businessmen. 'The race was over,' Richard Rayner writes of that photo-op moment, 'settled at last, not in the badlands of Utah, but in the smoke-filled study of a dodgy congressman.' In that dank room, though the scandal-plagued Union Pacific hung onto plenty of track (and boodle), the Central Pacific came out on top, with a railroad that extended hundreds of miles beyond the California state line established as its end point in the 1862 Pacific Railway Act. Those extra miles ensured that the Central Pacific would dominate rail traffic in California and the Southwest, creating a cash cow for the four titans whose shenanigans are the subject of Rayner's lively study. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"Southern U.S. border was established on this day in 1853"

"Southern U.S. border was established on this day in 1853," © FOCUS News Agency, December 30, 2007. (News Article)

"Southern U.S. border was established on this day in 1853. James Gadsden, the U.S. minister to Mexico, and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the president of Mexico, sign the Gadsden Purchase in Mexico City. The treaty settled the dispute over the location of the Mexican border west of El Paso, Texas, and established the final boundaries of the southern United States. For the price of USD 15 million, later reduced to USD 10 million, the United States acquired approximately 30,000 square miles of land in what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona. Jefferson Davis, the U.S. secretary of war under President Franklin Pierce, had sent Gadsden to negotiate with Santa Anna for the land, which was deemed by a group of political and industrial leaders to be a highly strategic location for the construction of the southern transcontinental railroad. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]