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The Basics of Business History: Top 100 Events at a Glance

THE TSC TIMELINE
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TSC's list of the top 100 U.S. business events, presented from most important to least.

Nos. 1 to 20

1. Eisenhower creates the interstates: June 29, 1956.

2. Intel invents the single-chip microprocessor: 1971.

3. The Federal Reserve is formed: 1913.

4. The Great Crash of 1929: Oct. 24-29, 1929.

5. Equal pay for equal work: June 10, 1963.

6. Ford introduces the assembly line: 1913.

7. Kaiser's World War II shipyards surpass all expectations of production: 1942.

8. The first Wal-Mart opens: 1962.

9. The current bull market begins: August 1982.

10. Carrier Engineering is founded, beginning the commercialization of air conditioning: 1915.

11. Reagan is elected: 1980.

12. Keynes publishes The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money: 1936.

13. Kennan's 'X' letter gives birth to the peacetime military-industrial complex: 1947.

14. The United Auto Workers stage their first sit-down strikes: 1936-37.

15. Kroc buys McDonald's: 1961.

16. Hewlett and Packard put Silicon in the Valley: 1939.

17. Bakelite is introduced: 1909.

18. Netscape goes public: Aug. 9, 1995.

19. The Depression-era securities laws: 1932-34.

20. President Johnson signs Medicare into law: July 30, 1965.

Nos. 21 to 40

21. Microsoft is tapped to provide the IBM operating system: 1981.

22. Bank of America launches the first credit card: September 1958.

23. The first commercial television broadcast: April 20, 1939.

24. Volcker becomes Fed chairman: August 1979.

25. A Merck scientist synthesizes streptomycin: September 1943.

26. The first Japanese car, a Toyota, is sold in the U.S.: 1957.

27. The first DC-3 flight: Dec. 17, 1935.

28. Three Bell Labs scientists invent the transistor: 1947.

29. The Bretton Woods agreement: 1944.

30. Toys R Us revives employee stock options: 1978.

31. The Civil Rights Act: 1964.

32. Xerox founds its Palo Alto Research Center: 1970.

33. The Supreme Court allows gene patenting: 1980.

34. President Ford signs ERISA into law: Sept. 2, 1974.

35. New York's WEAF broadcasts the first radio ad: 1922.

36. The Supreme Court orders the breakup of Standard Oil: May 15, 1911.

37. Wage stagnation starts: 1970s.

38. The Berlin Wall falls, heralding the triumph of market capitalism: 1989.

39. The Marshall Plan: June 5, 1947.

40. The OPEC oil shock: 1973-74.

Nos. 41 to 60

41. Coca-Cola becomes a global brand: World War II.

42. The Jungle is published: 1906.

43. FDR signs the GI Bill of Rights: June 22, 1944.

44. U.S. immigration peaks: 1907.

45. Reagan fires federal air traffic controllers: August 1981.

46. AT&T is dismantled: Jan. 1, 1984.

47. The savings-and-loan crisis peaks: 1988.

48. Hospital Corp. of America is founded: 1968.

49. Levittown opens: October 1947.

50. The Agricultural Adjustment Act is signed: May 12, 1933.

51. The baby boom begins: 1946.

52. Charles Merrill re-creates Merrill Lynch: 1940.

53. The New Yorker serializes Silent Spring: June 1962.

54. Watts explodes in race riots: August 1965.

55. ADM becomes the world's largest linseed oil maker: 1923.

56. Eisenhower signs the act creating NASA: July 29, 1958.

57. Calpers promotes shareholder activism: 1984.

58. Morgan consolidates U.S. Steel: 1901.

59. Wall Street's fixed commissions end: May 1, 1975.

60. The California asbestos lawsuits: October 1978.

Nos. 61 to 80

61. Hoover Dam is completed: March 1, 1936.

62. Benjamin Graham's Security Analysis is published: 1934.

63. Frances Kelsey blocks the U.S. approval of thalidomide: 1961.

64. Nasdaq gets its first blue-sky exemption: Dec. 6, 1984.

65. The CCITT Group 3 recommendation for facsimile machines is adopted: 1980.

66. Alfred Sloan becomes president of General Motors: 1923.

67. Cohen and Boyer pioneer recombinant DNA techniques: 1973.

68. President Johnson's Texas-sized spending spurs domestic inflation: 1960s.

69. The government bails out Chrysler: Jan. 7, 1980.

70. Federal Express begins operations: April 1973.

71. Black and Scholes introduce their options pricing model in the Journal of Political Economy: May/June 1973.

72. Rosie the Riveter and FEPC: Women and minorities contribute to the war effort: 1941-45.

73. FDR signs the act creating the Federal Housing Administration: June 1934.

74. AOL goes to flat-rate pricing: Oct. 29, 1996.

75. The explosion of RCA's stock epitomizes market mania: 1928-29.

76. Bernays lights the 'Torches of Liberty': March 31, 1929.

77. MCI is authorized to compete with AT&T: 1971.

78. The Black Monday crash: Oct. 19, 1987.

79. Maiman unveils the first working laser: July 1960.

80. Intelsat 1 goes into service: June 28, 1965.

Nos. 81 to 100

81. The first U.S. supermarket, King Kullen, opens: Aug. 4, 1930.

82. Michael Milken starts Drexel's junk-bond trading operation: 1971.

83. The surgeon general reports that smoking causes lung cancer in men: Jan. 11, 1964.

84. HBO via satellite accelerates the fragmentation of the TV marketplace: September 1975.

85. The Public Utility Holding Company Act is enacted: 1935.

86. The Panama Canal opens: Aug. 15, 1914.

87. Valium is introduced: 1963.

88. Thomas Watson becomes president of IBM's predecessor: 1914.

89. John Bogle launches the First Index Investment Trust: August 1976.

90. Lou Gerstner turns IBM around: April 1993 to present.

91. Southwest Airlines begins flying: June 18, 1971.

92. Harley-Davidson adopts Japanese management techniques: October 1981.

93. The U.S. is a giant creditor nation: 1918-1982.

94. Frederick Taylor's 'scientific management' theory gains legitimacy: 1910.

95. Jaws ushers in the blockbuster era in Hollywood: June 20, 1975.

96. The University of Phoenix, a for-profit university, is accredited: 1978.

97. Nike's Revolution ads commodify dissent: 1987.

98. Disneyland opens: July 17, 1955.

99. The Three Mile Island disaster: March 29, 1979.

100. Hallmark gets its start: Jan. 10, 1910.

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