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Multi-Media Review: THE GOLD RUSH : AH

Originally published on Published Online: August 19, 2000 
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THE GOLD RUSH, Trinklein Television, $19.95

To be aired by PBS in January, this one-hour program traces the nineteenth-century race for gold in California. In addition to historic film footage, photographs, and interviews with historians, the video presents the words of farmers who left their fields, merchants who closed their shops, and soldiers who left their posts in search of riches after the discovery of gold near the American River by carpenter James W. Marshall on January 24, 1848. The program also explores the underestimated role that women played during thegold rush, noting that those who traveled to California realized the opportunities that existed for them and soon put their much-needed domestic skills to use. The documentary highlights the lives of some of the country's most successful entrepreneurs of the era, including Levi Strauss, Philip Armour, and Henry Wells and William Fargo, who never panned for gold but provided the gold miners with supplies and services. John Lithgow narrates.

More reviews from the January/February 1998 issue of American History:

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