Actual events in history that occurred on July 1, with some details you may not have known…
1773: Jonathan’s Coffee House, where brokers had met for decades to smoke, drink, and trade stocks and bonds, was renamed the London Stock Exchange. Just plain coffee drinkers were forced to move across the street to Starpound’s.
1852: Wells, Fargo & Co. was founded in San Francisco by Henry Wells and William G. Fargo to convert gold dust into cash for miners, as well as to transport and safeguard letters and gold from the California Gold Rush. Customers who opened new accounts got a free box of matches and bundle of wood to make toast.
1861: The first paper money payable on demand was issued by the U.S. government. It didn’t become popular until the Treasury Department issued instructions on how to roll up the bills to snort snuff.
1862: The Internal Revenue Service was created by act of Congress to collect income taxes to finance the Civil War. This inspired that famous Civil War song, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home In Debt.”
1909: Thomas Edison began commercially manufacturing his new “A” type alkaline storage batteries. The tough part was convincing people to strap his battery-operated phonograph on their backs to listen to music while walking around.
1941: Bulova Watch Company sponsored the first TV commercial in New York City, NY. Most people missed it because they didn’t have watches to know when it was on.
1943: Women were allowed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for the first time in its 151-year history. Companies making stockings, chocolates and makeup posted a record trading day.
1979: Sony introduced the Walkman. Ironically, Sony executives celebrated the product announcement by eating steamed pea pods and apples.
1985: Coca-Cola announces the return of Coke Classic after the company had tried replacing the old formula with New Coke. Executives at Pepsi still call this Black Tuesday.
1996: Al “Chainsaw Al” Dunlap became Chairman of Sunbeam Corp. and announced massive layoffs, factory closings, and other steps that he predicted would save the company $225 million. The company later tried unsuccessfully to repair the damage he caused by hiring Dave “Wood Glue Dave” Harris.