This January Day In Financial History

January 1, 1783 Public debt of the United States is reported at $42 million. Source

January 2, 1934 Pennsylvania opened the first state run liquor store. Today, the PA liquor board says state stores generate about $400 million per year. Source

January 3, 1986 Capital Cities acquired ABC-TV for $3.5 billion. (In 1991, Capital Cities/ABC Inc. was purchased by Disney for a then-record $19 billion). Source

January 4, 1968 Leo Fender sells Fender Guitars for $13 million.

January 5, 1987 President Regan submitted the nationís first trillion dollar budget. Source

January 6, 1990 NY Lotto pays $35 million to one winner (#s: 18-25-26-32-42-44) and on 1-6-1996 a record $65.2 million British lottery was won by 3 people (#s: 2-3-4-13-42-44) Source

January 7, 1927 Transatlantic commercial telephone service is opened between New York and London.  There were 31 calls made at an average cost of $75.00 for a three minute conversation. Source

January 8, 1954 Elvis Presley pays $4 to a Memphis studio & records his 1st two songs, "Casual Love" & "I'll Never Stand in Your Way" Source

January 9, 2006 First class stamps went up to $.39, a 2 cent increase. Source

January 10, 2000 America Online agrees to purchase Time Warner in a stock swap valued at $156 billion, driving Time Warner stock up by 39%.  Time Warner stock goes on to lose 90% of its value as the supposedly glorious future of AOL goes up in smoke. Source

January 11, 1902 "Popular Mechanics" magazine was published for the first time. Initially, there were only five subscribers paying $1.00 per year and a few hundred others who paid a nickel at newsstands for the weekly issue. Today, the magazine has 1.2 million subscribers. Source

January 12, 1966 "Batman" premieres on ABC TV. Today, Forbes Magazine says fictional Bruce Wayne is worth a fictional $6.5 billion Source

January 13, 1867 Frances Townsend, social reformer, born in Fairbury Il developed a plan to help the elderly proposing $200 monthly pension financed by 2% tax. Source

January 14, 2000 Dow Jones Industrial Average hit record 11,722.98 propelled to peak by over-priced enthusiasm by dot coms which then began to decline. Source

January 15, 1987 Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that the nationís 3 million tenants of low income housing projects have the right to sue over alleged housing law violations. Source

January 16, 2012 Martin Luther King Day: At the age of 35, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

January 17, 1969 President Johnson signed act increasing salary of president from $100,000 to $200,000 beginning with his predecessor. Source

January 18, 2000 Kaiser Family Foundation reported that only 61% of American businesses provide health insurance.  National average cost of family coverage was $145.00 (32% of total cost). Source

January 19, 1949 The salary of the President of the United States was increased from $75,000 to $100,000 with an additional $50,000 expense allowance added for each year in office. Source

January 20, 1974 Congress in face of public opposition repealed a portion of the "Salary Grab Act" of 1873 which raised congressional salaries from $5,000 to $7,500.  Raise of presidentís salary to $50,000 retained. Source

January 21, 1994 Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 3,900 (3914.48) for the first time. Source

January 22, 2002 Kmart Corporation becomes the largest retailer in United States history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Source

January 23, 1973 George Foreman took the heavyweight boxing title away from ĎSmokiní Joe Frazier in Kingston, Jamaica. Each fighter was paid the then-unheard of purse of $2.5 million. Source

January 24, 1916 Supreme Court upheld constitutionality of federal income tax law. Source

January 25, 1905 At the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa, a 3,106-carat diamond is discovered during a routine inspection by the mine's superintendent. Weighing 1.33 pounds, and christened the "Cullinan," it was the largest diamond ever found. Source

January 26, 1945 Dan Topping and Del Webb bought the New York Yankees baseball team for $2,800,000. Source


January 27, 1818 Congress fixed its compensation at $8 per day; House Speaker and Senate President to receive $16 per day. Source

January 28, 1791 Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton stepped before the House to deliver a report on the establishment of a national mint.

January 29, 1802 John Beckley became the first Librarian of Congress. He was paid $2 a day. Source

January 30, 2000 As the Internet bubble nears its peak, 17 dot-com companies each spend $73,000 per second for network television ads -- a total of nearly $38 million -- during Super Bowl XXXIV. Source

January 31, 1885 C.D. Wright was appointed as the first Commissioner of Labor in the United States. A lofty job for a gentleman whose salary was $3,000. Of course, in 1885, you could buy a house for $3,000 along with a cow! Source