ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
January 24, 1848
The California Gold Rush Begins
On this day in 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California by James Wilson Marshall.
News of the discovery set forth a turn of events resulting in the migration of some 300,000 men, women, and
children from across the county and around the world. These early gold seekers were known as "forty-niners" and at
first searched for the gold in rivers and streams using a technique known as panning.
Billions of dollars of gold was discovered between 1848 and 1855 but most of the wealth went to relatively few
people while many returned home with nothing more than they started with.