Today’s American Minute

By Bill Federer

The same year the United States won California from Mexico, some workers constructing a sawmill for John Sutter on the south fork of the American River discovered gold. News spread like fire and soon “Forty-Niners,” as the prospectors were called, poured in from all parts of the world. Quickly populated, California became the 31st state on this day, Sept. 9, 1850. The state Constitution, which prohibited slavery, stated in its Preamble: “We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.”