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American Experience; Gold Rush, The


Packaged Broadcast Master, SD-WS Base, No CC, WITH DVS

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American Experience
Gold Rush, The
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

At the end of 1853, San Francisco was a city on the fast track. It had twelve daily newspapers, nine insurance companies, consulates of twenty-seven foreign governments, and six-story buildings where sand dunes once stood. A few years earlier, the seaside town had been a sleepy village of just 800 people. But the sight of gold in the rushing waters of the American River sent a ripple around the world and set the stage for an event that would forever change a city, a fledgling state, and the nation. "The Gold Rush transformed California, but more importantly, it transformed America," says historian J.S. Holliday. "Next to the Civil War in the nineteenth century, no other event had a greater impact, more long-lasting reverberations than the Gold Rush." On Monday, November 6, American Experience presents The Gold Rush. From producer/director Randall MacLowry (Stephen Foster, A Brilliant Madness) and writer Michelle Ferrari (Las Vegas: An Unconventional History, Seabiscuit, Miss America, New Orleans), this new documentary features interviews with acclaimed writer Isabel Allende, and noted historians James Rawls, Kevin Starr, and Richard White, among others. Incorporating rare and exquisite daguerreotypes and original recreations, this film offers a vivid new portrait of a seminal event in America’s history.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “American Experience; Gold Rush, The,” 09/27/2006, GBH Archives, accessed February 25, 2024,
MLA: “American Experience; Gold Rush, The.” 09/27/2006. GBH Archives. Web. February 25, 2024. <>.
APA: American Experience; Gold Rush, The. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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