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Business Booms, Busts, & Bubbles: A Resource Guide on Economic Manias & Crashes

Stock Market Panics

Udo Keppler, artist. Wall street bubbles; - always the same. May 22, 1901. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Wall Street activity has produced a number of bubbles and panics. We can't include all of them, but below are a few of the more notable ones that are worth including:

  • Panic of 1873: Railroads across the country were built and financed by companies and banks like the firm Jay Cooke and Company. The firm was heavily invested in railroad construction and when it closed its doors in September 1873, it triggered a major national economic panic.
  • Panic of 1907: When "Copper King" F. Augustus Heinze and his brothers along with American Ice Company's "Ice King" Charles W. Morse, tried and failed to corner the market on the stock of United Copper, they triggered a panic on Wall Street that led to runs by depositors on the banks associated with these men including the Knickerbocker Trust Company.
  • 1929 Stock Market Crash: During the 1920s the stock market went through a rapid expansion but at the same time unemployment rose and production declined leaving stock prices less valuable. October 24, 1929 (Black Thursday) marks the day of the largest sell-off of shares while October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday) is when investors traded some 16 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day.
  • Black Monday (1987): Beginning on October 14, 1987, the U.S. stock market began to sharply decline. On October 19 the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 500 points followed by steep declines of the S&P 500, the New York Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ; eventually twenty-three major world markets experienced a sharp decline.

Print Resources

Below is just a selection of resources for those interested in studying the various stock market crashes. There are resources in the General Resources section of this guide that also cover the events on Wall Street. Given that the events of 1987 are relatively recent, anyone researching these topics would find many articles in newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, local newspapers, and trade magazines that would be very helpful and easier to find in full-text databases.

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.

Internet Resources