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On January 24, 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill near Coloma, California, triggering the California Gold Rush

January 24, 2026

On January 24, 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill near Coloma, California, triggering the California Gold Rush. As news of the discovery spread, thousands of would-be gold miners poured into California looking to strike it rich. Though many were unlucky in mining, the population boom helped propel California to statehood.

Did you know? The term “forty-niner” refers to the many men that arrived in California in 1849. Today, the name is sported by San Francisco’s football team.

The song “Oh My Darling, Clementine” was inspired by the California Gold Rush.

 

Miners in the Sierras, Charles Christian Nahl and Frederick August Wenderoth, c. 1851

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer

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January 24, 2026
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