U.S. Treasury Timeline by Molly Johnson

  • Gold Standard Act

    The Gold Standard Act officially placed the United States on the gold standard.
  • Stock Market Panic

    A financial panic began as the stock market began to fall. The market reached a low point on November 15, 1907 when the average was 39% lower than on March 13.
  • Authorization of Federal Income Tax

    The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, authorizing federal income tax, was ratified.
  • Federal Reserve Act

    President Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law, creating a new central bank.
  • World War Foreign Debt Commission

    Congress established the World War Foreign Debt Commission. The commission rounded debts owed to the United States to $11.5 billion repayable over a 62 year term at two percent interest. The loans were never fully repaid.
  • Black Tuesday

    Black Tuesday occurred, a massive stock market crash that signaled the beginning of the Great Depression. At the time the crash was considered to be a cause of the Great Depression but it is now generally considered to have been a symptom.
  • Abandonment of Gold Standard

    The United States abandoned the gold standard. All existing contracts and currency that required redemption in gold were no longer considered valid.
  • Home Owners' Loan Corporation

    The Home Owners’ Loan Act of 1933 created the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation. The HOLC provided money for mortgages for people at risk of losing their house.
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

    The Banking Act of 1933 created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, better known as the FDIC. Designed to instill trust in the banking system again, the FDIC initially insured deposits of up to $2,500.
  • U.S. enters World War II

    The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, forcing the United States into World War II.
  • Ending of Wage/Salary Controls

    Wage and salary controls that were instituted during World War II were ended by Executive Order 9801.
  • Bank Holding Company Act

    The Bank Holding Company Act was passed, limiting what other businesses and securities bank holding companies could purchase.
  • Office of Budget and Finance

    The Office of Budget and Finance was established.
  • Gold Price Raised

    President Richard Nixon raised the official U.S. gold price from $35 an ounce to $38 an ounce. The change in gold price was the first made since an Executive Order by President Roosevelt in 1934.
  • Ending of Ban on Gold Ownership

    December 31, 1974 - President Ford lifts the 40-year ban, enacted in 1933, on gold ownership by U.S. citizens.
  • Economy Recovery Tax Act

    President Reagan signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act, reducing income taxes by approximately 23 percent over a three year period and lowering estate taxes. The ERTA also introduced indexing for inflation into the tax system.
  • Black Monday

    Black Monday occurred on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 508 points, the second largest percentage and point collapse in history. The definite causes of the collapse remain a point of debate among economists.
  • Higher Security Features on Notes

    The Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s redesigned notes with enhanced security features were first put into circulation.
  • Office for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes

    Secretary John W. Snow established the Executive Office for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes.