For Immediate Release: 6/2/2015
Railroad Museum to Debut New Exhibit “A City Divided: Sacramento and the Pullman Strike of 1894” on June 5
California State Railroad Museum or
California State Railroad Museum Foundation
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum are proud to debut a new exhibit titled “A City Divided: Sacramento and the Pullman Strike of 1894” on Friday, June 5, 2015. The new exhibit will enable Museum visitors to revisit the dramatic and volatile two months during the summer of 1894 when America experienced a major, nationwide railroad strike. During this emotionally charged time, Sacramento took center stage for the heated confrontation between employers and employees. The new exhibit will be focused on what happened in and near Sacramento, but will also briefly cover national implications as well. To help Museum guests understand the series of events, mannequins in military uniform along with compelling photos and murals will be on display depicting the historical events, people, strike activities and military presence throughout the city.
In addition to the national railroad network, the large-scale Pullman Strike of 1894 involved 27 states and was the first time the Federal government responded to a labor action by issuing an injunction. Although there had been earlier railroad strikes on a national scale, this was also the first time California was significantly affected. Sacramento was a city with sharply divided loyalties during the strike. Nearly one-third of the city’s working population was directly employed by the railroad while many people (including local politicians) resented what they saw as the railroad’s overbearing attitude. President Grover Cleveland ordered state militia to enter the city to break the strike then later sent in federal troops when the members of the militia proved too sympathetic to the strikers. Labor was ready and willing to resist, martial law was declared, and conflict – even sabotage – ultimately ensued.
The “A City Divided: Sacramento and the Pullman Strike of 1894” exhibit will remain on display in the Museum’s main-floor Empire Gallery through July 11, 2016. 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.
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