Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.
On Feb. 14, 1903, under the Roosevelt administration, Congress established the U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor.
Where the Market Was
The S&P 500 had started the month at 8.41, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average started the year at 49.11.
What Else Was Going On in the World
U.S. intervention had just helped end the Venezuelan crisis between Britain, Germany, Italy and Venezuela.
Department of Commerce Assembles
The act assembling the department also outlined the job of the secretary, whose inaugural contract promised an $8,000 salary, and a commissioner of corporations authorized to investigate foreign and domestic businesses.
The department subsumed a number of existing bureaus, including the Lighthouse Board, the Lighthouse Establishment, the Steamboat Inspection Service, the Bureau of Immigration and affiliated services and commissioners, the Bureau of Navigation, the United States Shipping Commissioners, the National Bureau of Standards, the Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Bureau of Statistics, the Census Office, the Fish Commission and the Bureau of Foreign Commerce. It also launched the Bureau of Statistics and Bureau of Manufacturers.
Ten years later, the Department of Labor was distinguished from the Department of Commerce, and in 1915, the Bureau of Corporations became the Federal Trade Commission.
By Elizabeth Balboa
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