Crash! Nov. 15, 1929
From August 1921 to September 1929, as America’s easy-credit economy boomed, the stock market did, too. In that time the Dow Jones industrial average rose sixfold. When the U.S. skidded into recession in late 1929—due in part to lower steel production and reduced home building—equities also plummeted. They began slipping on Oct. 24 and continued their slide through Oct. 29, “Black Tuesday.” General Electric finished that day at $222 a share, having lost roughly half its market value from its high earlier in the year. Goodyear Tire had nosedived from $154 to $67. U.S. Steel shares, once more than $260, declined to $174.
Ever the contrarian, B.C. Forbes saw the carnage as an opportunity to buy. He had invested three-quarters of the money he had available after the crash and urged readers to follow: “I am willing to stake whatever reputation I may have … on this prediction: Good stocks purchased during this latest panic will net large profits.”
Still, B.C. stopped well short of blind optimism. He concluded: “Now that the speculative orgy has ended, many who have been neglecting their legitimate business will return to their knitting. … This will be a good thing for the country. It cannot be expected, however, that prosperity will entirely escape the stock panic’s aftermath.” as owner of baseball’s los angeles angels, william wrigley, the chewing-gum titan, annoyed his fellow owners with a unique strategy: letting women attend games for free as a way to draw more (ticket-purchasing) men into the stands. his peers quieted down only when he “agreed not to accept any portion of the admission fee charged women in the other parks of the league.” (wrigley, of course, also owned those perennial disappointments the chicago cubs.)