This Day in Financial History - January 28 . . .

1791 - The dawn of the 1780s found America a nation in need of a standard currency. Following the Revolutionary War, the U.S. seemed as though as it would adopt copper as its coin of choice. However, various efforts to produce and standardize copper proved futile. Congress pushed on and, in 1786, signed off on Thomas Jefferson's proposal for a dollar-driven currency. Of course, the nation also needed to develop a means for producing this currency and on this day in 1791, Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton stepped before the House to deliver a report on the establishment of a national mint. Hamilton's work helped pave the way for the authorization of the United States Mint on April 2, 1792. Source: www.history.com

1902 - Andrew Carnegie spent a good chunk of his life building a chokehold over the steel industry. However, after years at the lead of the second Industrial Revolution, he decided to cash in his chips in 1901 and sold his stake in the mighty Carnegie Steel concern, then worth roughly $40 million, to the United States Steel Corporation for $250 million. Rather than retire and play with his riches, Carnegie followed his belief that a "man who dies rich dies disgraced" and set to doling out his fortune to various philanthropic causes. All told, Carnegie donated $350 million, $10 million of which he handed over on this day in 1902 to establish the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C. According to Carnegie, the Institution was designed "to encourage, in the broadest and most liberal manner, investigation, research, and discovery, and the application of knowledge to the improvement of mankind." Carnegie’s lofty mission translated into an organization dedicated to research and education in "biology, astronomy, and the earth sciences." Source: www.history.com

1965 - 1964 was a banner year for General Motors. Not only did the nation's biggest automaker unveil the beloved Pontiac GTO, but strong sales and a strong economy helped push GM's profits into the record books. According to an earnings estimate released on January 28, 1965, GM hauled in $1.735 billion during the previous year, making what was then the largest profit reported by an American company. Source: www.history.com

1965 - Less than a year after breaking the 800 mark, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 900 for the first time, finishing the day at 900.95. Source: www.jasonzweig.com





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