FROM 49ers TO 1984

January 24th in history:

The California Gold Rush was triggered on January 24th, 1848, when James Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill.  Most of the U.S. didn’t hear about the discovery until late in ’48, when President James K. Polk mentioned the gold rush in his State of the Union message.  The treasure hunters who went to California in the months afterward became known as ’49ers.

Today’s 49ers, the NFL team from San Francisco, played in the Super Bowl for the first time on January 24, 1982, at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. They won Super Bowl XVI by a 26-21 score over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The ring awarded to Super Bowl winners is made of gold and decorated with diamonds.  January 24th is the birthday of Olympic gold-medal winner Mary Lou Retton (born 1968) and singer-songwriter Neil Diamond (1941).

The Super Bowl didn’t become known for clever and expensive TV commercials until Apple Computers did a parody of the book “1984” to introduce its new Macintosh personal computer.  The Super Bowl ad ran two days before the Mac officially went on sale January 24th, 1984.

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