The 1900s Business and the Economy: Chronology

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The 1900s Business and the Economy: Chronology

1900:     March 14 Congress passes the Gold Standard Act to improve the national economy. The act established that all U.S. currency was backed by and exchangeable for gold.

1900:     March 31 The first national advertisement for automobiles appears in The Saturday Evening Post.

1900:     September 17 The newly formed United Mine Workers (UMW) union stages its first strike in Pennsylvania with nearly 100,000 miners participating.

1901:     January 10 The oil gusher known as Spindletop blasts near Beaumont, Texas, establishing the petroleum industry in the Lone Star State.

1901:     February 25 Formed by a merger of ten companies, U.S. Steel is established as the world's largest industrial corporation.

1902:     May 12 The UMW stages a strike against the coal industry, demanding union representation, wage increases, and eight-hour workdays. Known as the "Anthracite Coal Strike," this labor action lasts five months and endangers the nation's economy.

1902:     June 1 The state of Maryland passes the nation's first worker's compensation law to protect workers injured on the job.

1902:     June 17 The National Reclamation Act is passed by Congress, authorizing the federal government to build dams in the West for irrigation.

1903:     February 14 The Department of Commerce and Labor is created at the cabinet level by Congress to regulate and organize business activity.

1903:     November 30 The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Atkin v. Kansas that an eight-hour workday for public works construction workers is constitutional.

1903:     December 17 In Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright make their first sustained flight, setting the stage for the development of the airline industry.

1904:     April 30 The World's Fair, called the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, begins in St. Louis, Missouri.

1904:     October 27 The New York City subway opens, becoming the country's first rapid transit system.

1905:     February 23 The Rotary Club, the nation's first business-related service organization, is founded in Chicago.

1905:     June 27 The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is created as a nationwide industrial union. Known as the "Wobblies," the IWW seeks to unite all industrial workers in a union.

1905:     December 30 Former Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg is murdered by a bomb explosion. Law enforcement officials accuse prominent union organizers of the crime. The case becomes one of the most notorious labor trials of the century.

1906:     April 18 San Francisco sustains a major earthquake and subsequent fire, which destroy much of the city. The devastation leaves 250,000 people homeless. 25,000 buildings destroyed, and 500 dead.

1906:     June 30 Congress passes the Pure Food and Drug Act, prohibiting the mislabeling or contamination of food involved in interstate and foreign commerce.

1906:     July 22 The last U.S. cable car stops running in Chicago.

1907:     March 13 A sharp stock market drop sparks a financial panic, which in turn leads to unemployment, high food prices, and bank failures.

1907:     July 29 William "Big Bill" D. Haywood is found not guilty in the murder of former Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg. The real killer confesses and is revealed to be working for the Mine Owners' Association, which planted the bomb in order to frame union organizers.

1907:     October 21 A run on the Knickerbocker Trust Company in New York City starts a string of bank and trust failures. The U.S. Treasury and private banker J. P. Morgan step in to provide money to end the financial panic.

1907:     December A total of six hundred coal miners die in explosions in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania, and Monongah, West Virginia.

1908:     July 26 The forerunner to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is established. The agency is formed to investigate organized labor, fight the greed of big business, and prevent the theft of public lands.

1908:     October 1 The Ford Motor Company unveils the Model T automobile. The $825 price tag makes it possible for people with moderate incomes to purchase an automobile.

1909:     July 12 The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, authorizing income taxes, is authorized by Congress.

1909:     November 22 A three-month strike by the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union begins in New York, with twenty thousand U. S. garment workers participating.

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The 1900s Business and the Economy: Chronology

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The 1900s Business and the Economy: Chronology