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1907: Business and industry; science; education; philosophy and religion.

Once more overspeculation and a flawed and unregulated banking and credit structure caused a financial panic that turned into a brief depression. A large drop in the stock market on Mar. 13 presaged trouble. On Oct. 21 a run on the Knickerbocker Trust Company in New York City caused panic elsewhere. The bank was forced to close its doors. The government called on J. Pierpont Morgan, the nation's leading financier, for help. By the force of his personality, Morgan secured the cooperation of his fellow bankers, who combined their resources to import $100,000,000 in gold from Europe to restore confidence and end what came to be known as the panic of 1907. One result of the panic was passage of the Aldrich-Vreeland Act on May 30, 1908. It levied a tax of up to 10% on notes based on securities other than federal bonds. It also established a commission to investigate the currency and banking system.

William D. "Big Bill" Haywood, president of the Western Miners Union, was acquitted of the murder of former governor Frank Steunenberg of Idaho. The trial had Clarence Darrow for the defense and William E. Borah as prosecuting attorney.

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Prof. Albert Abraham Michelson, head of the Physics Department at the University of Chicago. Michelson was honored particularly for his studies of the speed of light, carried out with apparatus designed and built by himself.

The University of Hawaii was established as the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Honolulu, Hawaii. Its first classes met in 1908. Its name was changed to the College of Hawaii in 1911, and to the University of Hawaii in 1920.

The Brush Motor Car Company was formed in Detroit, Mich., by Frank Briscoe to manufacture the Brush, a two-seater runabout featuring coil springs and a single-cylinder, 12-hp engine. Designed by Alanson P. Brush, the car was advertised as "Everyman's Car." Despite the auto's low price and innovative features, the Brush Company was absorbed into United States Motors in 1910 and production ceased in 1913.

Mar. 9

John Alexander Dowie died. A Scot who came to the U.S. by way of Australia, Dowie in 1896 established the Christian Catholic Church, a sect that grew to more than 100,000 members; its headquarters were at Zion, Ill. Dowie founded the city of Zion (1901), the tabernacle, and industries worth more than $10,000,000. He later became unbalanced and was deposed as leader of the church.


The first fleet of taximeter cabs, imported from Paris, arrived in New York City.

June 6

Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, a postgraduate college for rabbinical and biblical studies, was chartered in Philadelphia, Pa.

Sept. 12

The Lusitania, the largest steamship in the world, arrived in New York harbor on its maiden voyage. The liner set a new speed record of 5 days, 54 min. between Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland, and New York.

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Author:Carruth, Gorton
Publication:Encyclopedia of American Facts & Dates, 9th ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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