August 19 - 1848 - The New York Herald Reports on the California Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush officially began on January 24, 1848, with the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in Northern California. Yet most of the people in America at the time were unaware of the strike until seven months later, when the sensationalist New York Herald reported on the rumors of gold in California. This launched the full flood of people leaving for the gold rush, although their trip to California was necessarily arduous no matter what route people took. All of these communication and travel issues are why miners became known as "Forty-Niners," rather than "Forty-Eighters."