Discovery Day is a statutory holiday in Yukon commemorating the discovery of gold that set off the KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH and led to the formation of the territory. George Carmack, the son of an American forty-niner, and his partners and brothers-in-laws, Skookum Jim Mason and Tagish Charlie (both of whom were TAGISH), found gold on Rabbit Creek (now Bonanza Creek) on 16 August 1896. The next day they staked claims along the creek. When the first prospectors reached Alaska with their gold in July 1897, the news sparked one of the world's greatest gold rushes. Yukon was made a territory the following year.
The Yukon Order of Pioneers, a fraternity of prospectors, encouraged the territorial council in 1911 to establish the holiday. The holiday originally fell on August 17 but is now the third Monday of that month. Festivities are centered at DAWSON, the epicentre of the gold rush, and each year tourists and Yukoners stampede there for what is now 5 days of celebration and activities.
See alsoPROVINCIAL AND TERRITORIAL HOLIDAYS.