Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1848: In a message before Congress, President James K. Polk sparks the Gold Rush when he confirms that large amounts of the precious metal had been discovered in California (more info)

1933: The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, bringing an end to the prohibition of alcohol in America (more info)

1955: The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge and form the AFL-CIO (more info)

1955: E.D. Nixon and Rosa Parks lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott (more info)

1978: The Soviet Union signs a "friendship treaty" with the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (more info)