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President James K. Polk
President James K. Polk

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Gold Discovered in California
January 24, 1848

Another builder, James S. Brown, heard Marshall say, "Boys, I have got her now." Brown stepped over to Marshall, who held his hat in his hand. There in the hat were 10 or 12 pieces of gold.

People had made false claims before that they had discovered gold, so it wasn't until December of 1848, when President James Polk backed up the discovery, that the Gold Rush began.

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