“The Klondike Gold Rush” and “Gold Rush” on Kanopy

Miners in the Klondike Gold Rush
Miners in the Klondike Gold Rush

This month marks the 130th Anniversary of the Great Klondike where miners discovered gold in a tributary of the Klondike River.  This prompted a mass migration of what is estimated to be over 100,000 prospectors, known by historians as the "stampede", in the following years in hopes of also discovering gold in the Alaskan wilderness.  Now, more than 100 years later, gold continues to be discovered in Alaska to the present-day.  In the Discovery Channel TV show, Gold Rush: Alaska, which has been running for six seasons, beginning in 2016, miners like Parker Schnabel and the Hoffman family operate large mines in Yukon territory in hopes of striking gold like the Klondike miners of the late 19th century.

Charlie Chaplin in "Gold Rush"
Charlie Chaplin in "Gold Rush"

The library’s streaming video services now offers a double perspective into the Gold Rush lifestyle.  PBS documentary The Klondike Gold Rush, led by Award-winning author Charlotte Gray and historians Terrence Cole and Michael Gates, chronicles the boomtown of Dawson City, in the Yukon Territory of Canada and “it's an incredible story of determination, luck, fortune and loss” as it was a haven for miners during the difficult Klondike Gold Rush.  While also providing the facts, this documentary gives the personal anecdotes of the current Dawson City residents and digs through the legends, tales, and sagas of the Gold Rush.  However, if documentaries aren’t for you, you must certainly take a look Charlie Chaplin’s Gold Rush.  This hilarious masterpiece fictionalizes a prospector’s (Charlie Chaplin) journey to Alaska to strike gold.  Along the way however, the prospector’s dreams shift from finding gold to finding love.  This show not only is a sidesplitting romp but is a classic -- a must-see for film buffs.  (It is also available as a silent film, too!)

Be sure to check out these The Klondike Gold Rush and Charlie Chaplin's Gold Rush.  Kanopy also offers more films from PBS, which can found by visiting: https://fairfield.kanopystreaming.com/category/supplier/pbs. Similarly, more Charlie Chaplin classics, such as the whimsical satire The Great Dictator are available by visiting: https://fairfield.kanopystreaming.com/video/silent-films-charlie-chaplin-harold-lloyd.

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