Profession: Business Tycoon and Politician
Why Famous: Stanford was an industrialist who became a successful merchant and was later president of Southern Pacific Railroad, which gave him enormous power in California. To this end, he served one term as Governor of California, from 1862 to 1863, during the American Civil War.
He would later serve in the United States Senate representing California for the Republican Party from 1885 until his death in 1893.
- 1862-07-10 US begins construction of Central Pacific Railroad
- 1869-05-10 Golden Spike driven, completing the 1st US Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah and connecting the Central Pacific Railroad with the Union Pacific
- 1891-10-01 Stanford University, California opens its doors after being founded by Leland Stanford and his wife Jane with a $40M donation (1891 dollars), in memory of their son. Among its first graduation class, future US President Herbert Hoover.