April 22, 2013
(CNN) -- One hundred and sixty-five years ago, in Coloma, California, a carpenter named James W. Marshall built a sawmill to harness the power of the American River. Below the waterwheel, he saw flakes of metal where the spent water flowed. Marshall marked the moment saying, "I have found it." He had discovered gold in California and more: For the next century, our nation would mine its future in the Golden State.