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More to July 3rd than you might think

By Dian Vujovich

Funny thing about the day preceding our 4th of July celebrations— it’s packed with historic events too.

Yes, the markets are closed today in honor of our country’s 4th of July celebrations. And yes, more people associate hot dogs with this holiday and will eat more wieners during this holiday than they do at any other time during the year: Word from The Nielsen Company is that we are expected to buy 110 million pounds of hot dogs —or $2151 million worth— for this weekend’s celebrations.

But there’s more to July 3, than you might imagine. For instance:

• On this day in 1819, the first savings bank in America opened. It was called the Bank for Savings. Located in the city of New York, that day’s receipts totaled $2,807 and came from 80 depositors.

• On this day in 1884, Charles Dow began fiddling with averages and devised and published the first average of 11 American stocks in his Customer’s Afternoon Letter. Most of them were railroad stocks. It took 12 years, until 1896, before the first industrial average was published.

•On this day in 1916, the “witch of Wall Street, Henrietta Howland Green died at the age of 80. At that time she was the richest woman in America, her estate was valued at $100 million although she lived the last few decades of her life in a tiny apartment and apparently was a real pain to deal with.

•On this day in 1944, John Maynard Keynes presented his plans for the World Bank.

Happy weekend!

(Sources: “This Day in Business History”, Raymond L. Francis (McGraw-Hill), and http://www.cftech.com/BrainBank/FINANCE/DowJonesAvgsHist.)

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