Learn what happened in business in today’s past


April 27:

1998: Fed Ponders Rate Boost in Months Ahead, reads a headline in The Wall Street Journal, and Wall Street goes nuts. Spooked by the articles hint that the Federal Reserve will ponder lifting short-term interest rates in coming months, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunges 223.95 points, or 2.5%, in a matter of minutes, stocks lose $233 billion in value, and 401(k) investors make twice their usual level of switches from stock funds to bond funds and cash. But by weeks end, the Dow is up 82 points.

David Wessel, Fed Ponders Rate Boost in Months Ahead, The Wall Street Journal, April 27, 1998, p. A2; Ann Reilly Dowd, The Panic of 98, Kiplingers Personal Finance, July 1998, pp. 24-25; http://averages.dowjones.com

1896: Wallace Hume Carothers is born in Burlington, Iowa. He later joins duPont, where he invents the synthetic fabric used in rugs, parachutes and pantyhose: nylon.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/btcaro.html; http://www.chemheritage.org/EducationalServices/chemach/pop/whc.html; http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/28.html

1791: Samuel Finley Breese Morse is born in Charlestown, Mass., to the Rev. Jedidiah Morse and Elizabeth Breese Morse. After working as a successful portrait painter, Morse demonstrates the worlds first working telegraph in 1844.