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BYLINE: John D. Boyd
In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama invoked one of the most dramatic rail construction efforts in U.S. history to help make his argument that the nation should tackle long-term infrastructure projects even while grappling with the economic crisis.
"History reminds us that at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas," Obama said in his Feb. 24 speech. "In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry. "
He was referring to the trans-continental railroad, which …