On this day in 1889, the “Customers’ Afternoon Letter” was renamed and distributed as The Wall Street Journal for the first time.
The first paper included foreign trade numbers, a listing of “nearly all the bonds listed on the New York Stock Exchange,” and a Dow Jones selection of twelve stocks trading at an average of $87.71 on July 6, down more than $3.00 from three weeks before.
Page one featured the quote, “It is a fact that the earnings of Reading for the last three months of the year taking in the Coal & Iron Co., show an enormous comparative loss…with last year.” While the paper could have just replaced the company names and run that quote this morning, there probably was not talk of recycling a headline from that first paper: Bankers Exerting Their Power.
A page two editorial opined, “But when the railroads that began the contest have been brought to the verge of bankruptcy let no helping hand be stretched forth to save by any syndicate of bankers whose interests lie in the propserity of the whole country. Let the ruined companies be reorganized on a basis which shall forever preclude the necessity of piracy.”
Some thing change, some things remain the same.
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