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 US 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)