On This Day, Oct. 24, 1929 – Black Thursday Marks the Start of Stock Market Slide

NYSE

1929 – In the U.S., investors dumped more than 13 million shares on the stock market. The day is known as “Black Thursday.”

The day itself wasn’t so bad. On October 24th, 1929, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened at 305.85 (Yes, you read that right. The Dow didn’t even reach 1,000 until November 14, 1972.) It fell 11% during intra-day trading, but closed just 2% down, at 299.47% by the end of the day.

But Wall Street moguls were alarmed. The stock market had already fallen nearly 20% since its record high close of 381.2 on September 3, 1929. Even worse, trading volume was 12.9 million shares, or three times the normal amount. The next day, the three leading banks (Morgan Bank, Chase National Bank, and National City Bank of New York) bought stocks to restore confidence in the markets.

What made Black Thursday such a bad day in the history of the New York Stock Exchange was that it signaled the start of the stock market crash of 1929. After the crash, the Dow continued to slide for three more years. It finally bottomed on July 8, 1932, closing at 41.22. All told, it lost nearly 90% of its value since its high on September 3, 1929. In fact, it didn’t reach that high again for 25 years, until November 23, 1954.


1632 – Scientist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft, Holland. He created the first microscope lenses that were powerful enough to observe single-celled animals.

1795 – The country of Poland was divided up between Austria, Prussia, and Russia.

1836 – Alonzo D. Phillips received a patent for the phosphorous friction safety match.

1861 – The first transcontinental telegraph message was sent when Justice Stephen J. Field of California transmitted a telegram to President Abe Lincoln.

1901 – Daredevil Anna Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. She was 63 years old.

1931 – The upper level of the George Washington Bridge opened for traffic between New York and New Jersey.

1939 – Nylon stockings were sold to the public for the first time in Wilmington, DE.

1940 – In the U.S., the 40-hour workweek went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

1945 – The United Nations (UN) was formally established less than a month after the end of World War II. The Charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories.

1949 – The cornerstone for the U.N. Headquarters was laid in New York City.

1960 – All remaining American-owned property in Cuba was nationalized. The process of nationalizing all U.S. and foreign-owned property in Cuban had begun on August 6, 1960.

1962 – During the Cuban Missile Crisis, U.S. military forces went on the highest alert in the postwar era in preparation for a possible full-scale war with the Soviet Union. The U.S. blockade of Cuba officially began on this day.

1969 – Richard Burton bought his wife Elizabeth Taylor a 69-carat Cartier diamond ring for $1.5 million. Burton presented the ring to Taylor several days later.

1986 – Britain broke off relations with Syria after a Jordanian was convicted in an attempted bombing. The evidence in the trial led to the belief that Syria was involved in the attack on the Israeli jetliner.


1992 – The Toronto Blue Jays became the first non-U.S. team to win the World Series.

2001 – The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that gave police the power to secretly search homes, tap all of a person’s telephone conversation and track people’s use of the Internet.

2001 – NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Mars.

2003 – In London, the last commercial supersonic Concorde flight landed.

 

Source: useconomy.about.com; On-This-Day.com