Golden Spike Days - Omaha, Nebraska - April 26 - 29, 1939
In celebration of the world premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's film Union Pacific, which took place in Omaha on April 28, 1939, a four-day celebration known as "Golden Spike Days" was held. The event in Omaha, location of Union Pacific headquarters, involved many parades and a variety of celebrations, as well as the movie premiere. Citizens of Omaha dressed in period costumes for events. Many Omaha men grew a beard and mustache to lend realism to their event costumes. Listed below are the events that took place as they were scheduled in the official program for the four-day event.
"GOLDEN SPIKE DAYS"
Wednesday, April 26
10:30 a.m. - Opening of Historical Show, Municipal Auditorium (runs through Saturday)
2:00 p.m. - Opening of Indian Village, Court House Lawn (runs through Saturday)
7:30 p.m. - Unveiling of historical windows, downtown stores
8:00 p.m. - Whisker Clubs Parade, downtown
8:30 p.m. - Preliminary judging, Whisker Contests, Municipal Auditorium
Thursday, April 27
9:00 a.m. - Special trains arrive from New York and Chicago
10:00 a.m. - Military parade
3:15 p.m. - Arrival of special Hollywood train carrying Mr. DeMille, Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, and other celebrities. Reception at Union Station.
3:30 p.m. - Parade of the stars and distinguished visitors, from Union Station in 1869 vehicles
5:30 p.m. - Arrival of 1869 locomotive, new steam turbine locomotive and other special equipment. Union Station.
7:30 p.m. - Old Timers Dinner, Coliseum.
Friday, April 28
8:00 a.m. and all day - Showing of 3,000 h.p. steam turbine locomotive, 1869 locomotive used in filming of picture, and other railroad equipment. Eleventh Street between Farnam and Dodge
10:00 a.m. - Historical Parade
12:45 p.m. - Luncheon for distinguished guests and visitors, Fontenelle Hotel
3:00 p.m. - Dedication of marker designating eastern terminus, Union Pacific Railroad, Council Bluffs.
World Premiere Cecil B. DeMille's "Union Pacific"
8:00 p.m. - Orpheum and Paramount Theatres (Old Timers Club Members only).
8:00 p.m. - Omaha Theatre, Arrival Stars, Celebrities in front of theatre
8:15 p.m. - Omaha Theatre, Performance starts (for public)
Midnight - Special midnight premiere. Orpheum Theatre. The entire Hollywood party will make personal appearances.
Saturday, April 29
9:00 a.m. - Regular run of "Union Pacific" at popular prices, Omaha Theatre. "Union Pacific" will also be shown at Paramount Theatre on Saturday and Sunday, April 29 - 30, to accommodate public.
9:30 a.m. - Parade of visiting bands and drum corps
10:00 a.m. - Band and drum corps contests, Central High School grounds
7:00 p.m. - Doors open for Costume Ball - Ak-Sar-Ben Coliseum. Ceremonies at 8:30 p.m. - Vincent Lopez orchestra at 9:00 p.m.