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This Week in History


Texas Oil Strike Steers Ford

On Jan. 10, 1870, John D. Rockefeller incorporated what would soon become the most powerful corporation in America (and make him the wealthiest person in the country)—Standard Oil. Exactly 31 years later, on Jan. 10, 1901, the biggest oil discovery up until then took place near Beaumont, Texas, when a 100-foot drilling derrick delivered a […]

Drafting Mickey Mouse

We celebrate both the ridiculous and sublime this week—as well as the start of a brand-new year. First, the ridiculous. Twenty-six years ago this week the Selective Service sent a notice to Mr. Mickey Mouse, care of Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., ordering him to register for the draft. I kid you not. It really happened. […]

The Dow’s Santa Claus Rally

Where’s our Santa Claus Rally? Back in the good old 20th century we regularly had a rally in the stock market in the days leading up to Christmas. During the last decade of the century it became such a regular part of the year end, everyone expected a “Santa Claus” rally. Every December in the […]

The Ratification of the Bill of Rights

This week should mark one of the most joyous celebrations of the year for every person who loves liberty. Unfortunately, the reason for such jubilation will barely be mentioned.

On Dec. 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights became an official part of the Constitution of the United States of America. Virginia was the 10th state to ratify the first 10 amendments, thus providing the necessary two-thirds votes for approval. (Remember, there were only 13 states back then.)

You probably remember from high school history lessons that the adoption of the Constitution was far from a sure thing. Many legislators were afraid that the framers had not done nearly enough to protect Americans from the danger that frightened them the most—the almost-irresistible tendency of government to grow ever more powerful.

An Obituary That Changed Perception

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to read your own obituary? More than 100 years ago that actually happened to one of the richest men in the world. What he read changed forever how he would be remembered. The man was Alfred B. Nobel. The source of his vast wealth was the […]

Presidential Deal-making

On Dec. 1, 1824, the United States Presidential election was thrown into the House of Representatives for the first time. With four candidates running for President that year, no candidate won a majority of votes or enough delegates to win in the Electoral College. Andrew Jackson won more popular votes, more electoral votes and more […]

When Thanksgiving was a Moving Target

Are you old enough to remember when Thanksgiving would have taken place last week? The story of why a few million turkeys now get an extra week to live is a great example of what government meddling can do. As Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story. Although various “days of thanksgiving” […]

Unhappy Birthday to the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve System was “born” on Nov. 16, 1914. That’s the day that marks the beginning of the long, slow decline in the value of the U.S. dollar.

Although this country had managed to survive without a central bank for the first 140 years of its existence, that all changed when Congress approved the Federal Reserve Act the previous December. (For an account of the conspiratorial manipulations that led to the passage of this bill and its consequences, see G. Edward Griffin’s masterful study, The Creature From Jekyll Island.)

Dismantling the Berlin Wall

On the night of Nov. 9, 1989, the most hated symbol of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, was turned into a pile of rubble. All night long, East and West Germans celebrated their new freedom by smashing the 28-mile-long (and 28-year-old) barrier. The following morning, East German troops were ordered to dismantle all of […]

Monopoly Monopolizing the Board Game Industry

Out of the depths of the Great Depression came the most popular board game in history. More than 750 million people have played some version of Monopoly since the game made its debut on Nov. 5, 1935. Among various special editions that have been issued, Neiman Marcus offered one in their 1978 Christmas Wish Book […]

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