ABH Site Index
- Historic Sites
- U.S. History Timeline
- More Info
President Clinton and Boris Yeltsin. Courtesy National Archives.
ABH Travel Tip
If you've never been there, or it's been awhile since you've taken a trip to Washington, D.C., the nation's capitol is a treat for anyone interested in the USA and its history. From the spectacular museums of the Smithsonian, to the recent addition of the Holocaust museum and the Newseum, too, there's so much to see and do. One of the best new attractions is the World War II Memorial. It will make you wonder what took them so long and just why there was any controversy about adding this museum to the space between the Washington Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.
President Bush with Gulf War troops. Courtesy National Archives. Right: New York Stock Exchange in 1921 by Irving Underhill, Courtesy Library of Congress.
Click here to Sponsor the page and how to reserve your ad.
1990 - DetailMarch 29, 1999 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 10,000 for the first time.
How Did It Start?
It's been around for over a century, first calculated on May 26, 1896, and founded by Dow Jones and Company founder Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal editor. It has thirty components now, but only twelve in 1896. They are not all industrial today, but are thirty large companies. The index is price-weighted to account for stock splits, et all. It was not the first index; that would have been what we now know as the Dow Jones Transportation Average, started by Dow in 1884.
Who Were the Companies in the DJIA in 1896?
American Cotton Oil Company (Bestfoods/Unilever)
American Sugar Company (Domino)
American Tobacco Company (dissolved 1911)
Chicago Gas Company (People's Gas/Integrys Energy Group)
Distilling and Cattle Feeding Company (Millennium Chemicals)
Laclede Gas Company, now Lacledge Group, Inc.
National Lead Company, now NL Industries
North American Company (broken up in 1946)
Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company (part of U.S. Steel)
U.S. Leather Company (dissolved 1952)
United States Rubber Company (UniRoyal/Goodrich/Michelin)
General Electric is the only company which remains part of the DJIA in 2016.
Timeline of How it Grew and What Influenced It?
May 26, 1896 - On its opening day, the base average was 40.94, but within the same year, after the Panic of 1896, it hit its all-time low of 28.48. This was caused by a drop in silver reserves and concerns over the effect on the gold market. Presidential election between William McKinley (favoring the gold standard) and Williams Jennings Bryan (favoring the silver standard) revolved around the panic and the Dow Average for the first time.
1901 - Panic of 1901 is considered the first Stock Market Crash of the New York Stock Exchange after thousands of small investors were ruined over the manipulation of stocks over financial control over the Northern Railroad Company.
1907 - Panic of 1907 sees fifty percent reduction in stock prices over three weeks in October during a recession when banks and trusts depositors lost confidence. Triggered by a failed attempt to corner the stock in the United Copper Company.
1914 - New York Stock Exchange closed on July 30 for four and one half months, (DJIA 71.42). Conflicting reasons such as the start of World War I or the desire of the Secretary of the Treasury to hoard gold to start the Federal Reserve later in the year. Markets reopened on December 12.
1928 - Dow Jones Industrial Average increased from twelve components to thirty.
1929 - DJIA reaches its all-time high of 381.17 on September 3; Stock Market begins to crash on October 24, by November 13 reaches mid-day low of 195.35.
1932 - Great Depression follows the Stock Market Crash with the mid-day low of July 8, 1932, dipping to ninety percent lower than its previous high in 1929, now 40.56.
1939 - After a decade of instability in the economy and start of World War II, the DJIA has risen back to 150.24.
1949 - Post-war reconstruction sees end of decade with a 39% increased in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
1959 - Bullish decade overcomes Korean War, Cold War, the Cuban Revolution, and two recessions in 1953 and 1958 to rise to 616, a two hundred percent decade increase.
1969 - Slow economic growth compared to the 1950's, with a recession in 1960-61, still sees thirty percent increase in the DJIA, now reaching 800.
1972 - DJIA rised above 1,000 for the first time on November 14, 1972.
1973-1974 - Caused by various international and national circumstances, including the 1973 Oil Crises, the collapse of the Bretton Woods System, and the subsequent recession, the stock market loses 45% of its value between January 11, 1973, and December 6, 1974.
1987 - Largest single day drop in history, October 19, 1987, losing 22.61% of its value, due mainly to program trading.
1989 - By the end of the decade, despite many negative factors, the DJIA increases from 838 to 2,753.
1995 - DJIA rises above 5,000 for first time on November 21. By the end of the century, it had risen a compounded average of 5.3% per year.
Who Makes Up the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today?As of August 26, 2016, the thirty companies that make up the DJIA are ...
General Electric (1896)
3M, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (1976)
American Express (1982)
Cisco Systems (2009)
Exxon/Mobile, Standard Oil of New Jersey (1928)
Goldman Sachs (2013)
Home Depot (1999)
Johnson and Johnson (1997)
JP Morgan/Chase (1991)
Proctor and Gamble (1932)
Travelers Insurance (2009)
United Health Group (2012)
United Technologies, United Aircraft (1939)
Walt Disney Company (1991)
Date listed above is the original year of inclusion. General Electric was in the DJIA from 1896 to 1898, 1899-1901, 2007 to today. Chevron from 1930 to 1999, then 2008 to today. Coca-Colar from 1932 to 1935, then 1987 to today. DuPont from 1924 to 1925, then 1935 to today. IBM from 1932 to 1939, then 1979 to today.
Photo above: Lithograph of New York Stock Exchange in 1850, by Charles M. Autenrieth, Courtesy Library of Congress. Photo below: New York Stock Exchange in 1921 by Irving Underhill, Courtesy Library of Congress. Info source: Dow Jones Industrial Average Fact Sheet, Wikipedia Commons.
History Photo Bomb
Towers of the World Trade Center.
America's Best History where we take a look at the timeline of American History and the historic sites and national parks that hold that history within their lands.
Photos courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Park Service, americasbesthistory.com & its licensors.