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1848- A large quantity of gold is discovered in northern California & thousands of often violently ambitious men pour in to dig it up. Over the next decade, 80% of the "timid & friendly" native population is killed off. In 1850, California will be annexed to the United States as a free state, angering the southeastern slave states.
The man who changed the way men dressed, then and now. Levi Strauss became famous during the Gold Rush in California
White and Chinese miners hoping to strike it rich during the California Gold Rush at Auburn Ravine in 1852. (California State Library [Daguerreotype collection #912])
May 20, 1873, Levi's patent for blue jeans. Bavarian-born Levi Strauss headed to San Francisco in 1850. Lured by the Gold Rush, he hoped to strike it rich. He did — in denim, not gold. The savvy businessman began adding rivets to sturdy canvas for the 49ers to wear as work pants. He switched to a French material, genes, which Strauss dubbed jeans. The rest is history. (AP Photo)