10/14/2019

Editorial/Opinion: California Discovers Gold Again

(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.
By the 1950s, California had manufactured an optimistic nation’s dreams, brought them to life in the steel and smoke of industry and then captured them on celluloid. Business bloomed in deserts, nourishing one of the world’s great economies. A green Eden of farmland, the Central Valley where the sun shone 300 days a year, grew one third of America’s produce. Innovation followed discovery: Silicon, it turned out, was even more valuable than gold.

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