Learn what happened in business in today’s past


February 28:

1975: A new U.S. government agency, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., pays out its first check, for $140.75, to a participant in the International City Bank of New Orleans Employees Retirement Plan. The PBGC was established after several companies, including Studebaker, failed to make good on their pension commitments after they went insolvent. Today, nearly 500,000 retirees receive a pension check from the PBGC to cover the obligations of employers whose pensions failed.


1964: Just under three years after breaking the 700 mark, the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaks through 800 for the first time, closing at 800.14.

John A. Prestbo, ed., The Markets Measure: An Illustrated History of America Told through the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones, New York, 1999), p. 78.

1953: A young scientist named Francis Harry Compton Crick walks into the Eagle Pub in Cambridge, England, and announces that he and his research partner, James Dewey Watson, have found the secret of life. Unlike most people who say that kind of thing in bars, Crick is right: He and Watson have discovered the double-helix molecular structure of DNA.


1827: Americas first great growth industry is born, as two dozen business leaders in Baltimore incorporate the Baltimore and Ohio Railway Co. to link Baltimore with Wheeling, W.Va. and connect the western frontier with the eastern seaboard.

Amy Friedlander, Emerging Infrastructure: The Growth of Railroads (Corporation for National Research Initiatives, Reston, VA, 1995), p. 10; http://www.dgbn.com/train/index.html; http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/today/feb28.html