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Quote of the Day
“Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide,
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.”
-Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” Read by Steve Jobs on this day in 1984 as he unveils the first Apple personal computer.
January 24th – This Day in Stock Market History
January 24th, 1848 – New Jersey mechanic James Marshall discovers gold at Sutter’s Mill in lower Sacramento Valley in California. The California Gold Rush is underway.
Over the next 8 years 300,000 people would move to California in search of gold, forever changing the state.
Prior to the gold rush, California was sparsely populated, unsettled, and relatively poor. By the early 1850’s hundreds of thousands were moving west in search of riches.
As with most periods of euphoria, the big money to be made was in servicing those looking to strike it rich. Shop owners, banks, clothing companies, and restaurants all flourished as the 49ers moved west. Wells Fargo bank, and Levi Strauss jeans are just two examples of businesses alive today that got their start by servicing gold miners.
Source: Panic on Wall Street: A History of America’s Financial Disasters
January 24th, 1984 – Steve Jobs unveils the first Apple Mac computer.
The original Macintosh personal computer sold for $2,495 in 1984 (More than $6,000 in today’s dollars). The computer had:
7.83 MHz processor
128k RAM and,
a 9 inch, 512 x 342 pixel CRT screen
Apple would sell more than 70,000 of these computers over the next 5 months.
Source: Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the making of the Microsoft empire
January 24th, 1996 – Sun Micro systems submits a bid to buy Apple Computers for $2.76 billion, or $23 dollars per share (About $3.28 in today’s share price reflecting the recent 7 for 1 split).
Despite how obvious it seems today that Apple would turn into the world’s largest company. In 1996 it was hardly looking bright for Apple. Apple had just announced a near $70 million dollar loss during its most recent quarter and was cutting thousands of jobs. At the time Apple was actively seeking a buyer.
The deal was mere “hours away” according to then Sun Microsystems President Ed Zander. But would ultimately fall through. Not long after the deal fell apart, the board members of Apple would fire their CEO, Michael Spindler, and replace him with Gil Amelio.
Amelio would organize the purchase of a company called NeXT Computer, which was founded by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The purchase would reunite Jobs back with Apple. The reunion would have likely never occurred if Spindler was successful in selling Apple to Sun.
Sun Microsystems is now owned by Oracle.
January 24th, 2006 – Disney announces that it will purchase Pixar for $7.4 billion.
Over his 20 year reign of Pixar, Steve Jobs saw Pixar’s value grow from $10 million to $7.4 billion – an average annual compounded return of 39.15%!
With the purchase, Steve Jobs becomes largest shareholder of Disney and got a seat on the company’s board.
(You may also find our November 30th This Day in Stock Market History Page interesting, which is the day that Pixar went public. The November 30th day in history page has more info on the history of Pixar, and the full text of the original letter to Pixar shareholders that Steve Jobs wrote in 1997!)
Best January 24th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History
1919 – Up 1.93%, 1.55 points.
Worst January 24th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History
2003 – Down 2.85%, 238.46 points.
Video of the Day
For those interested, the entire 1984 Apple shareholder meeting was recorded (which includes the small segment seen above). The 1 hour and 20 minute long meeting in its entirety can be seen here:
<– Go To Previous Day: January 23rd, 1995 – Japan’s Nikkei index falls 1,000 points after Kobe earthquake.
Go To Next Day: January 25th, 1915 – Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson complete the first Transcontinental phone call –>