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Special Lectures Part of “Thursday Night at the Museums” Extended Hours Program
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Railroad Museum to Present Monthly Speaker Series on Thursday Evenings this Summer

Special Lectures Part of “Thursday Night at the Museums” Extended Hours Program

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum are pleased to present a monthly Summer Speaker Series that will coincide with the special “Thursday Night at the Museum” extended hours program when the Museum is open every Thursday until 8 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2015. With monthly presentations at 6 p.m. on scheduled evenings inside the Museum’s East Theater, the Summer Speaker Series will be highlighted by local historians and/or special guests who will present lectures covering a wide range of compelling rail and history related topics.

May 28: Sutter’s Town: Then and Now presented by Shirley Burman
Shirley Burman, documentary photographer, artist and railroad women’s historian, will present a visually exciting photographic lecture highlighting 30 years of Old Sacramento that captures its rise from decay, how the riverfront changed over time from a cement wall to a bustling boardwalk with restaurants, museums and visiting boats, to the popular destination it is today.

June 25: Showdown at the Shops: The 1894 Pullman Strike in Sacramento by William Burg
William Burg is a California State Parks historian, author of six books about Sacramento history, and former California State Railroad Museum docent. The 1894 Pullman Strike – which will be showcased in an exhibit at the Railroad Museum opening June 5 at the Railroad Museum – is acknowledged as one of the great turning points in American labor history. Started in Pullman, Illinois, the strike spread to the entire nation, and the Southern Pacific shops in Sacramento was a major flash point. Thousands of Shops workers, members of the American Railway Union, seized control of the Shops complex in July of 1894, effectively halting most railroad travel in California. After nearly two weeks of intense confrontation, federal troops arrived in Sacramento, occupied the Shops, and reopened the railroad. Burg’s talk will examine the economic and social history leading up to the Pullman Strike, using photographs from the collections of the California State Railroad Museum and Center for Sacramento History. 

Burg will also explore why Sacramento was such an important site in American labor and railroading history during this era, and the effects the strike and its aftermath had on the city, and the state of California, in the years that followed. Copies of his books will also be available for purchase after the presentation. 

July 23: How the Railroad Saved the River City by Paul Hammond
Paul Hammond, Museum Director of the California State Railroad Museum, will explain and illustrate how the railroad played a major role in helping to save Sacramento long before the City was proclaimed the “Farm-to-Fork” capital or even the “City of Trees.” He will share insights about how the railroads and rivers converged and worked together for many years to shape the Sacramento we know today.

August 27: Makin’ Tracks: Sacramento to Reno presented by Shirley Burman
Shirley Burman, documentary photographer, artist and railroad women’s historian, will present a history rich lecture and photographic journey that covers both time and distance from Sacramento to Reno. Guests will travel back in time to reflect on the first steamboat on the Sacramento River, horse and wagon rides over emigrant trails and dirt roads, train trips over the first Transcontinental Railroad Route, and the first automobiles on the transcontinental Lincoln Highway.

The special Summer Speaker Series presentations will last approximately 45 minutes and include a question and answer period following each lecture. All normal museum admission prices apply during the Summer Speaker Series and “Thursday Night at the Museums” extended hours program. Railroad Museum admission is $10 for adults, $5 for youths (ages 6-17), and children ages five and under are free. More information about the California State Railroad Museum is available at 916-323-9280 or

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