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Fact of the Day

It was the Internet of its time, but maybe even more miraculous. On October 24, 1861, the first high-speed communications link between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts was established with the completion of a transcontinental telegraph line. From July 4 to October 24, the Western Union Company constructed a telegraph line between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, completing the first fast communications link across the continent. The first message, from California’s chief justice to President Abraham Lincoln, spoke of strengthening the bonds between East and West – even as the bonds between North and South were crumbling.

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