"There's gold in those hills!"
James Marshall discovered gold in California in 1848. Gold brought thousands of people to California. At first, the gold was easy to find. By 1849, the "easy gold" was gone. There was still gold in rivers. Miners spent ten hours a day panning for gold. Some miners left. They moved back to the East Coast. Most miners stayed. They made California their home. They opened stores, hotels, and restaurants for the miners.
The people who stayed wanted there to be laws, so a constitution was created. A government was set up. Peter Burnett became the first governor of California. California asked if it could become a state. Congress agreed. Millard Fillmore was president. He signed a bill that made California a state. He signed the bill on September 9, 1850. California became the 31st state. September 9 is Admission Day.