This article remembers key events that have shaped Wall Street history.
Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
The Washington Post reported on this day in 1939 that "bullish professionals again took hold in a manner reminiscent of 1929. … Many [stocks] were $1 to more than $4 above yesterday's final levels, some at new highs for more than a year."
The New York Times reported on a number of major moves, particularly that of the coal-carrying Norfolk & Western railroad -- now Norfolk Southern
In one interesting parallel to modern times, General Motors
This warning was tempered by a promise that "as soon as our national policies permit the resumption of an upward trend in the national income, the automotive industry will enjoy … a degree of that prosperity."
Within two years, GM would claim 41% of the American auto market. The Dow bottomed out in April of 1942, having lost 40% of its value from the Sept. 12, 1939 close.
Several bank executives held a rather ridiculous meeting today in 1939 at the New York Fed. Led by a vice president of Chase -- now JPMorgan Chase
Chase and J.P. Morgan outlasted world wars, but their current merged form is much different from what your grandparents remember. Only one big bank has stayed the course and rewarded investors without losing its identity -- or its integrity. Find out more about the big bank that's built to last in the Fool's free report.
Fool contributor Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Add him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter @TMFBiggles for more news and insights. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of General Motors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.