The California Gold Rush was sparked by the discovery of gold in a river in January 1848 and not only did it make some individuals rich but it also had a significant impact on the politics and economy of the USA and the world. Discussing it on In Our Time were Kathleen Burk (University College London), Jacqueline Fear-Segal (University of East Anglia) and Frank Cogliano (University of Edinburgh).
Pocahontas only lived for around 22 years, but her short life became an integral part of America's national mythology. A lot of the things we "all know" about her are wrong, or misleading. Even the name we know her by wasn't her real name - more of a nickname, meaning "naughty child" or something of that sort.