1791: America’s first national bank, the Bank of the United States, opens in Carpenters’ Hall at the corner of Chestnut and Third Sts. in Philadelphia. The B.U.S. blazes the trail for nearly every bank since: It immediately goes on a wild credit binge, lending out $964,260 in its first two weeks of business (that’s roughly $18 million in today’s money, lent largely to speculators in the emerging U.S. stock market). Then the Bank over-reacts and stops lending almost entirely, causing a credit crunch among stock speculators and helping to precipitate America’s first market crash.
1901: Guglielmo Marconi receives the first radio signals sent across the Atlantic Ocean. The signals travel from Marconi’s transmitter in Poldhu, on the southwest coast of England, to his receiver in St. John’s, Newfoundland, ushering in the age of wireless communication.
1914: The New York Stock Exchange reopens after closing in July amid jitters over the outbreak of World War I. By the end of 1915, the stock market has risen nearly 82% as Western Europe supplies its war effort with American-made goods and weapons.
1969: Thirteen securities salesmen, led by a man named Loren Dunton, meet at the O'Hare Inn near Chicago's airport to analyze what is wrong with the way investments are sold to the American public. The result is the birth of a new profession called "financial planning."