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December 2, 2017

Top 5 Reasons to Visit!

December 2, 2017

Have you never visited the Union Pacific Museum? Thinking about putting us on your list? Maybe these Top 5 reasons to visit will get you on your way!

Countdown to the top 5 reasons to visit the Union Pacific Museum:

5. Shop for railroad souvenirs.  From choo choo socks to ornaments for your tree, the Museum Shop’s got all things train.

4. Get a ticket from the agent and join your favorite Hollywood stars on a trip through time to the glory days of rail travel.

3. Applaud the Special Agents who protected the trains. Thumbcuffs, handcuffs, and the Museum's display of firearms illustrate the dangers of doing business in the early West.

2. Lay the track, drive the train, or take a ride on the railroad. Kids love the Museum’s interactive simulators.

1. Visit with the Museum’s enthusiastic volunteers for firsthand stories about workin’ on the Railroad.

Friday, Dec. 1: Working on the Railroad Exhibit Grand Opening (5-7 p.m.)

November 28, 2017

The Union Pacific Museum is celebrating the grand opening of a new, permanent exhibit “Working on the Railroad” on Friday, Dec. 1 from 5-7 p.m. during Family Night at the Museum. The exhibit’s debut will follow an official ribbon cutting by Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh and Union Pacific Museum Association President, David Bills. The public is invited to attend this special event that will include the chance to meet current Union Pacific employees and learn what it takes to work on the railroad every day. See if you are strong enough to lift a rail, take a turn in the engineer’s seat operating a train with the latest in safety features and see how fast you can build a train with an interactive touch-screen game. Operation Lifesaver will be on hand to discuss rail safety. The Council Bluffs Public Library Youth Department will be hosting story time with train-themed stories. The prize drawing for families that have attended 7 or more Family Nights, and have the punch card to prove it, in 2017 will be at 6 p.m. You must be present to win. The 2017 Family Night prize is 6 tickets on the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, in Boone, Iowa. 

Union Pacific Railroad is a vibrant and progressive organization connecting communities throughout America. It is more than 40,000 men and women, working together every day to safely deliver the goods that fuel every American’s daily life. It is workers on the tracks, on the trains, in the yards and in the offices throughout our country, connecting more than two-thirds of America by rail. It is your neighbors, who by day are our Maintenance of Way (MOW) employees, mechanical engineers, marketing representatives, diesel mechanics, electricians, yard employees, dispatchers, locomotive engineers, conductors and operations managers.

Family Nights at the Museum are hosted the first Friday of every month from 5-7 p.m. In addition to providing extended hours for visitors to access the museum’s interactive displays on railroading and the history of the West, Family Nights feature unique arts or learning opportunities for the entire family. Family Night on Jan. 5 is “Pajama Night at the Museum!” Admission is free to all family nights; however, donations are gladly accepted.

Saturday, Nov. 18: Celebrate Native American Heritage Month (1-3 p.m.)

November 15, 2017

Union Pacific Railroad Museum is partnering with Union Pacific’s Council of Native American Heritage (CONAH), an employee resource group, to celebrate National Native American Heritage Month on Nov. 18 with a free lecture by University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) professor of history Kent Blansett entitled, “When the Stars Fell from the Sky: the Cherokee Nation and Autonomy in the Civil War.”

Kent Blansett is a Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Shawnee and Potawatomi descendant through the family lines of Panther, Blanket and Smith. He serves as an Assistant Professor of History and Native American Studies at UNO. Blansett earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of New Mexico. He is the past recipient of numerous fellowships, including an Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, Newberry Library Fellowship and the Katrin H. Lamon Fellow from the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe.

The Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory fought to protect and preserve their sovereignty throughout the nineteenth century. Cherokee citizens survived one of the darkest chapters in American history, a period when the Indian Removal Act and later the Trail of Tears claimed thousands of Cherokee lives and acres. The violence that ensued in the period after removal exploded between the Cherokee treaty and anti-treaty parties, slave and abolitionist, progressive and traditional classes, and Union and Confederates. Conventional Civil War narratives typically confine the war to two key topics: preservation of the union and emancipation. Such a narrow lens, has often excluded both Western and Native historical perspectives.

A significant portion of the Civil War evolved in the American West as both the Union and Confederacy actively recruited Indian military regiments in order to alter the war’s outcome.Cherokee General Stand Watie ultimately emerged as the last Confederate General to surrender, and Robert E. Lee shook the hand of Seneca General, Ely S. Parker first at Appomattox Court House. American Indian service and alliances, more particularly Cherokee service, was instrumental throughout the Civil War. By the war’s conclusion this extraordinary service was erased by a renewed interest in continuing the “Indian Wars,” an act which served to unite the North and South through one central objective, Western expansion and the military subjugation of American Indian nations. In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Cherokee Nation entered into its own period of reconstruction. This is not a story about the victimization of the Cherokee Nation but rather about the ability for one people to overcome insurmountable odds and preserve their sovereign future. This is the ultimate American story.

People of Native American heritage are integral to Union Pacific Railroad’s more than 150-year history and continued success as America’s premier railroad. They helped protect crews during transcontinental railroad construction through Nebraska in the 1860s and today support the railroad’s efforts to build America. Union Pacific’s Council of Native American Heritage (CONAH) plays a major role supporting employees of Native American heritage, continuing their legacy and fostering a diverse, inclusive workforce vital to prosperity in 21st century business.

Blansett’s presentation will be offered  Saturday, Nov. 18. It is free and open to the public; no reservations are required. The presentation will begin at 1 p.m. on the first floor of the Union Pacific Railroad Museum.

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