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
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
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 www.csrmf.org.