Shining like Klondike gold © Robert Postma/Getty Images
On August 16, 1896, two prospectors had their hopes literally pan out when they found a huge deposit of gold along the banks of the Yukon River in Canada’s Klondike region. And with that, Skookum Jim Mason (aka Keish) and his American brother-in-law George Carmack set in motion the Klondike Gold Rush—the richest gold strike in North American history. Because of the remoteness of the find, it would be over 11 months before the rest of the world found out. And it did so in the most dramatic fashion, when the steamers Portland and Excelsior pulled into the harbors of Seattle and San Francisco respectively carrying over one ton of gold (worth more than $1 billion in today"s dollars).