995 Summer 2020 Building the Union Pacific Railroad: One Man's Experience
Tuesday, 11:50–1:15, July 28
Instructor: Pat McGinty
There have been several books, movies, and television series devoted to the building of the Union Pacific Railroad, but most of them concentrate on the principal figures and significant events of the project. Irish immigrant, Union Army veteran, and diarist John McGlinchey provides us with another perspective on the everyday life of what were called gandy dancers. McGlinchey's diary, edited by Dr. Ryan Michael Collins, details the highs and lows experienced by people working hard to build a better America by linking both coasts. Come join us as we review the events in the life of one man as he worked to accomplish his job while fending off hostile Indians, accommodating demanding superiors, and protecting himself from jealous co-workers, as well as nasty women who haunted the saloons looking for the next easy mark.
Patrick McGinty, an OLLI member, is a retired naval officer with an MA and PhD in history from Georgetown University. He has taught various history courses at the University of Maryland–University College and at OLLI.