Celebrations Today – December 23
Holidays and observances
- Birthday of the Queen Silvia, an official flag day (Sweden)
- Children’s Day (South Sudan and Sudan)
- Christian Feast Day:
- Abassad (Coptic Church)
- John Cantius
- O Emmanuel
- Psote (Coptic Church)
- Thorlac Thorhallsson, patron saint of Iceland; The last day of preparations before Christmas.
- December 23 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
- Day of all level operational control structures servicemen (Ukraine)
- Festivus, a holiday made popular by the sitcom Seinfeld
- HumanLight (Secular humanism in United States)
- Kisan Diwas (Uttar Pradesh, India)
- Night of the Radishes (Oaxaca City, Mexico)
- The Emperor’s Birthday, birthday of Akihito, the current Emperor of Japan. (Japan)
- Tibb’s Eve (Newfoundland and Labrador)
- Tom Bawcock’s Eve (Mousehole, Cornwall)
- Victory Day (Egypt)
Celebrations Today – USA: December 23
National Pfeffernusse Day
National Roots Day
National Pfeffernüsse Day
Today in US History: December 23
The Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Building, Constitution Ave. Front View of Federal Reserve I,
Theodor Horydczak, photographer, ca. 1920-50.
Washington as It Was: Photographs by Theodor Horydczak, 1923-1959
On December 23, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Owen-Glass Act, creating the Federal Reserve System, an independent agency of the U.S. Government. Before the Federal Reserve began its operations in November 1914, America’s banks functioned in widely divergent ways. These varied banking practices resulted in four major financial crises in less than forty years.
Under the terms of the first major banking reform to follow the Civil War, the Federal Reserve System, or “Fed,” was designed to keep the economy healthy through the formulation of U.S. monetary policy. As the nation’s money manager and central banking authority, the Fed has regulatory and supervisory responsibilities and ensures that sufficient amounts of currency and coin circulate to meet the public’s demand. It also establishes interest rates and monitors the availability of money and credit.
The Federal Reserve consists of a board of governors, nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate to serve fourteen-year terms of office, twelve regional Federal Reserve Districts–or regions, and branches of Federal Reserve banks in twenty-five other cities. The Federal Open Market Committee sets the Fed’s monetary policy–carried out through the trading desk of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Federal Advisory Council, the Consumer Advisory Council, and the Thrift Institutions Advisory Council advise the Federal Reserve Board directly on its various responsibilities.
Charles S. Hamlin, November 26, 1917.
Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929
All national banks chartered by the federal government are required to join the Federal Reserve System; to subscribe to capital stock in the Federal Reserve Bank in an amount equal to six percent of its combined capital and surplus; to invest three percent (as a reserve requirement) of their holdings in the system; and to hold another three percent subject to call. These stipulations enabled the Fed to curtail the money and credit flow problems characteristic of the late 1800s and early 1900s and to respond to many of the demands of the growing economy. Nonetheless, the early Federal Reserve System proved fallible. After the Great Depression and again after the inflation and disinflation crises of the 1970s and 1980s, the role of the Federal Reserve was reexamined and overhauled to meet new needs. New banking acts were passed and the banking industry underwent reforms. This process continues today as the actions of the Fed profoundly impact the national and global economy.
- Search on the term Charles Hamlin Papers in Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929. Charles S. Hamlin, who held several key positions in the Federal Reserve Board during its early years, kept extensive notes that provide a behind-the-scenes account of debates among members of the Federal Reserve Board as they forged monetary policy.
The collection also includes articles from issues of The Forum from the 1920s. Of interest in the July 1929 issue is a column by Donald R. Hanson entitled “Why This Prosperity?” in which he offers an overview of the conflict between Wall Street and the Federal Reserve Board about ways the New York Stock Exchange encourages financial speculation. Search on federal reserve in Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929 for relevant material.
- Search on bank in American Memory’s photographic collections to find images of banks nationwide, including several designed by architect Louis Sullivan.
Farmer’s National Bank,, exterior, Owatonna, Minnesota,
Louis H. Sullivan, architect, circa 1907.
American Landscape and Architectural Design, 1850-1920: a Study Collection from the Harvard Graduate School of Design
- Search the full text of Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910 on federal reserve to read accounts of the Federal Reserve System by a Midwestern economist, a congressman, and a prominent attorney. Of particular interest is a chapter entitled “More About Practice” in Recollections of an Immigrant, the 1929 autobiography of Andreas Ueland, who served as general counsel to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present contains photos and data pages on Federal Reserve banks in Minneapolis and Philadelphia. See, for example, images of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Helena Branch.
- Listen to “Democracy’s Achievement” in American Leaders Speak: Recordings from World War I and the 1920 Election to hear Oklahoma Senator Robert L. Owen, co-creator of the Owen-Glass Act, rally support for the Democratic Party and cite the Federal Reserve as one of the major achievements of the “regenerated” Democratic Party of the Wilson Era.
- To review current banking legislation, search on banking in THOMAS.
- To see more photographs of the Federal Reserve building in Washington D.C., search on federal reserve in Washington as It Was: Photographs by Theodor Horydczak, 1923-1959.
Home for the Holidays
Gen. Washington Resigning His Commission to Congress
Photograph of a painting by John Trumbull.
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920
George Washington resigned his commission as commander in chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783, in the Senate chamber of the Maryland State House in Annapolis, where the Continental Congress was meeting.
Although the British had recognized American independence with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on September 3, British troops did not evacuate New York until December 4. After the last British ships left the harbor, Washington bid an emotional farewell to his officers and set out for Annapolis. On the journey south he was met with throngs of well-wishers paying him tribute for his role in the nation’s military victory over Great Britain.
Washington left Annapolis at dawn on December 24 and set out for Mount Vernon, his plantation on the Potomac River in Virginia. He arrived home before nightfall on Christmas Eve, a private citizen for the first time in almost nine years.
Annapolis State Capitol [Maryland State House],
William Henry Jackson, photographer, circa 1892.
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920
When Washington visited the Maryland State House in 1783, the structure was incomplete and suffered from a leaking roof. By 1786, when the Annapolis Convention was held at the State House to address defects in the Articles of Confederation, construction of a new dome had begun. Today, the building begun in 1772 is the oldest state house still in legislative use.
Located at the mouth of the Severn River on the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis was settled as Providence in 1649 by Puritans who moved there from Virginia. The town was also known in the seventeenth century as Town of Proctor’s, Town at the Severn, and Anne Arundel Town. In 1694, the colonial capital of Maryland was moved there from St. Mary’s City and it was renamed Annapolis in honor of Princess (later Queen) Anne of England. It is home to the U.S. Naval Academy and to St. John’s College, founded in 1696 as King William’s School.
- To locate more photographs of the historic capital, search on Annapolis in the following collections:
- Search on George Washington in the Today in History Archive to find more events related to the first president such as his birthday, his experience at Valley Forge, his farewell to his officers, and his first Inaugural Address.
- Visit the George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799, the largest collection of original Washington documents in the world. The collection consists of approximately 65,000 documents, including Washington’s commission as commander in chief. Search the collection by keyword or browse by series and date. The collection also includes essays about Washington’s papers and illustrated Time Lines of the colonial period, the American Revolution, and the Early Republic.
- Search A Century of Lawmakingfor a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875 on George Washington to retrieve documents highlighting Washington’s interaction with both the Continental Congress and the United States Congress. Read Washington’s speech given to the Continental Congress on June 16, 1775, accepting his commission as commander in chief.
- See the entry for George Washington’s commission as commander in chief in the Library’s Primary Documents in American History Web guide.
Today in History – December 23-External Links
Today’s Weather in History
Today in Earthquake History
This Day in Naval History
Today’s Document from the National Archives
Today’s Events, Births & Deaths –Wikipedia
Today in History by AP
On this Day -1950 to 2005 – Today’s Story–BBC
On This Day: The New York Times
This Day in History –History.com
Today in Canadian History – Canada Channel
History of Britain that took place On This Day
Russia in History –Russiapedia