Learn what happened in business in today’s past


March 25:

1966: Bank of America executive Kenneth Larkin drafts a memo proposing that Bankamericard should expand outside the banks home state of California and offer credit card services to merchants and retail customers nationwide. The Visa card, and Americans' beloved ability to borrow and spend anywhere at any time, are born.

Joseph Nocera, A Piece of the Action: How the Middle Class Joined the Money Class (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1994), p. 55.

1885: The over-the counter market gets an official home, as the New York Stock Exchange establishes its Department of Unlisted Securities to trade the shares of smaller companies.

Today in NYSE History, at www.nyse.com/about/TodayInNYSE.html

1809: The earliest known bank failure in the U.S. is reported when the Farmers Exchange Bank of Glocester, R.I., goes bust after issuing $800,000 in fraudulent loans against total capital of $45.

Bray Hammond, Banks and Politics in America: from the Revolution to the Civil War (Princeton Univ. Press, 1991 ed.), pp. 172-176.