The Panic of 1907 was a financial crisis that occurred in the United States when its stock market fell close to 50 percent from its peak the previous year. Primary causes of the run included a retraction of market liquidity by a number of New York City banks, a loss of confidence among depositors, and the absence of a statutory lender of last resort. The crisis occurred after the failure of an attempt in October 1907 to corner the market on stock of the United Copper Company. When this bid failed, banks that had lent money to the cornering scheme suffered runs which later spread to affiliated banks and trusts, leading a week later to the downfall of the Knickerbocker Trust CompanyŚNew York City's third-largest trust. The collapse of the Knickerbocker spread fear throughout the city's trusts as regional banks withdrew reserves from New York City banks. The panic would have deepened if not for the intervention of financier J.P. Morgan, who pledged large sums of his own money, and convinced other New York bankers to do the same, to shore up the banking system. By November the contagion had largely ended. The following year, Senator Nelson W. Aldrich established and chaired a commission to investigate the crisis and propose future solutions, leading to the creation of the Federal Reserve System.

Read the rest of this article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1907

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Today's selected anniversaries:

425:

Valentinian III became Emperor of the Western Roman Empire at the age of six.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentinian_III)

1642:

The Battle of Edgehill, the first pitched battle of the First English Civil War between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians, was fought to an inconclusive result near Edge Hill and Kineton in southern Warwickshire.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Edgehill)

1955:

Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem defeated Emperor Bao Dai in a fraudulent referendum supervised by his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu on the future of the monarchy in South Vietnam.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1955_State_of_Vietnam_referendum)

1958:

In his comic series Johan and Peewit in the weekly magazine Spirou, Belgian cartoonist Peyo introduced a new set of small sky blue characters known as The Smurfs.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peyo)

1983:

Lebanese Civil War: Suicide bombers destroyed two barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French paratroopers of the international peacekeeping force.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Beirut_barracks_bombing)

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Wiktionary's word of the day:

kwassa kwassa: (n) A dance rhythm from the Congo (DRC), where the hips move back and forth while the hands move to follow the hips.
(http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kwassa_kwassa)

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

I often observed to my brother, You see now how little nature requires to be satisfied. Felicity, the companion of content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external things; And I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatsoever state he is. This consists in a full resignation to the will of Providence; and a resigned soul finds pleasure in a path strewed with briars and thorns.
--Daniel Boone
(http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Daniel_Boone)