January 28, 2015

Wednesday Open Line

As the Great Depression approached its worst, Wisconsin made the nation’s first governmental direct relief effort for the unemployed. On this date in 1932, it enacted unemployment insurance, soon followed by a half-dozen other states before the Social Security Act in middecade moved all states to adopt such programs by 1937. Wisconsin’s program issued its […]

Monday Open Line

On this date 32 years ago, the infant personal computer was empowered to become something much greater than a glorified word processor with the release of the spreadsheet program Lotus 1-2-3. The popular program drew acclaim as the first PC “killer application.” Finance and accounting workers were thus freed from hunching over ledger books and […]

Friday / Weekend Open Lines

An innovation in product packaging — and a staple of TV advertising — is having its 80th anniversary tomorrow. The first canned beer went on sale in 1935 as a marketing test in Richmond, Virginia, by the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company of Newark, New Jersey. Experiments with putting beer in cans had taken place as […]

Thursday Open Line

Many sumptuous foods get their day — or month — in the sun by way of some commemoration. But January celebrates a very basic, traditional dish. This is Oatmeal Month, recognizing the long-term favorite for its up-to-date health characteristics — low fat, no sodium, and the ability to help lower the risk of heart disease. […]

Wednesday Open Line

You may think the debate about smoking is fairly recent, but the more things change, the more they resemble 1908. On this date that year, the New York City council passed an ordinance that made it illegal for women to smoke in public places. The ordinance was the result of a campaign by the National […]

Tuesday Open Line

It’s purely coincidence, but nonetheless symbolic, that this date, the traditional presidential inauguration day, also happens to be the 232nd anniversary of the end of hostilities in the American Revolution. This 1783 cease-fire, while throwing off a monarch, started us on the way to electing our head of state. Along with creating the office of […]

Monday Open Line

Being able to store and distribute food before it spoiled became easier in the young United States on this date in 1825. That’s when Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kensett were granted a patent for the tin can. Heating and sealing food in glass jars had started a few years before in France, and the British […]

Friday / Weekend Open Lines

There have been 27 ratified amendments to the U.S. Constitution over the past 223-plus years, but that total comes with an asterisk. Uniquely, the 21st Amendment repeals the 18th, which began its short career this day in 1919. That amendment launched the Prohibition Era, a well-intentioned act of social hygiene, seeking to ban the availability […]

Thursday Open Line

Dr. Martin Luther King would be 86 years old today. The civil rights leader, minister, and recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize was born in 1929 and assassinated in 1968. Next Monday is a national holiday, honoring his memory and life’s work, appropriate in a month that also sees the anniversary of the Emancipation […]

Wednesday Open Line

January is Financial Wellness Month, appropriately timed to the confluence of New Year’s resolutions and holiday bills. It’s a time to set new goals for financial freedom and moderation in spending; for people to understand the benefits of “paying yourself first.” A financial adviser can help shape money management goals, pointing out the power of […]

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