The Gold Rush
Aired Monday, June 2 at 9:00 p.m. on CPTV
On January 28, 1848, James Marshall found gold near the fork of the American and Sacramento Rivers, and unleashed a massive migration from around the world to what had been a forgotten backwater. In short order, gold-seekers from Oregon and the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), Mexico, Chile, England, France, Australia, Ireland and China were knee-deep in water in the diggings. Each found himself playing the Great California Lottery, in which luck, not hard work or honesty, seemed the key to success. Told though the stories of a small group of diverse characters - Chinese and Chilean, northerner and southerner, black and white - this two-hour program tracks the evolution of the Gold Rush from the easy riches of the first few months to the fierce competition for a few good claims. The Gold Rush turned California into a place synonymous with risk, riches, and reinvention, a place where the impossible seemed likely. Michael Murphy narrates. more on this program...