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.

Thank you to Barb Woodbeck for contributing a photo of (Left to Right) her grandmother, Mary Eleanor Fairchild Turner, Donville Seymour Fairchild, and Kathryn Smith Fairchild dressed in period costumes for the Golden Spike Days celebration.



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. homepage