Today In History Spotlights Jan. 24, 1848, The California Gold Rush Begins

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Today’s History Spotlight

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The California Gold Rush begins. After gold was discovered by James W. Marshall at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California, word spread quickly. The news of gold in California brought an estimated 300,000 people to the region.

The surge in immigration revitalized the economy and lead to California’s statehood with the Compromise of 1850, in which California entered the union as a free state. Some settlers traveling on the Oregon Trail would branch off near Fort Hall, Idaho, and embark on the California Trail, in which some would end up at Sutter’s Mill.

What Happened On This Day – January 24

  • 1990 Japan launches its first lunar probe. Hiten was the first robotic lunar probe since the Soviet Luna 24 in 1976 and the first deep space probe that executed an aerobraking maneuver.
  • 1984 The Apple Macintosh computer goes on sale. The “Mac” was the first commercially successful personal computer using a graphical user interface and a mouse.
  • 1946 The United Nations General Assembly passes its first resolution. Resolution 1 was passed to found the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC).
  • 1848 The California Gold Rush begins. Some 300,000 people traveled to California after James W. Marshall had found gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California.
  • 1835 Slaves stage a rebellion in Brazil to end slavery. The Malê Revolt was instrumental in ending slavery in Brazil.

Births On This Day – January 24

  • 1943 Sharon Tate – American actress
  • 1941 Neil Diamond – American singer-songwriter, guitarist
  • 1776 E. T. A. Hoffmann – German jurist, author
  • 1712 Frederick the Great – Prussian king
  • 76 Hadrian – Roman Emperor

Deaths On This Day – January 24

  • 1989 Ted Bundy – American serial killer
  • 1986 L. Ron Hubbard – American religious leader, author, founded the Church of Scientology
  • 1965 Winston Churchill – English politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1895 Lord Randolph Churchill – English politician, Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • 41 Caligula – Roman Emperor

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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