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This Month in Business History


Harris & Ewing, photographer. Grace Coolidge, Santa Claus, and children next to Christmas tree. 1927. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The Man Who Saved Christmas

In 1918 the World War I era Council of National Defense was poised to include toys in their ban on the manufacture of nonessential goods during the war. Learn more about A.C. Gilbert's Successful Quest to Save Christmas.

The Game of Monopoly is Patented

On December 31, 1935, the now ubiquitous winner-take-all board game Monopoly was patented. Since that day, it has been translated into 37 languages and evolved into over 200 licensed and localized editions for 103 countries across the world. The game of capitalism, competition and business strategy has firmly established itself as a significant piece of popular culture.

Signing of the Federal Reserve Act

In December 23, 1913 President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act which created the Federal Reserve System whose responsibilities were to reform currency and banking system in the United States.

Cosmetic Entrepreneur Elizabeth Arden Born

Florence Nightingale Graham, later known as Elizabeth Arden, was born in Canada December 31, 1881.

Formation of the American Federation of Labor

on December 8, 1886 labor leaders came together to found the American Federation of Labor now the AFL-CIO.