1867 - Railroads cross the Great Plains

         The Kansas-Pacific Railroad reached Abilene in 1867, while the Santa Fe railroad arrived in La Junta, Colorado.  In the twenty years following the Civil War, the federal government awarded 183 million acres of the West, all public domain, to the private ownership of the railroads.  Land grants to the railroads were the size of California and most of Montana, combined.

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