On this day in economic and business history …
Two of the Dow Jones Industrial Average‘s components had eventful days on June 1 throughout their histories. Each company actually experienced two major notable events on different years. Let’s take a closer look at what happened for these two components, but first let’s examine another landmark event that took place today.
This is CNN
The 24-hour news cycle was born on June 1, 1980, when CNN made its debut on the channel lineups of 1.7 million American cable subscribers. This low market penetration meant that Ted Turner’s news network initially operated at a loss, but within three years, following the takeover of the rival Satellite News Channel, CNN reached more than 33 million viewers, or 20% of all American viewing households.
CNN achieved prominence in 1986 when it was the only network to offer live television coverage of the space shuttle Challenger, which exploded shortly after takeoff. The Persian Gulf War of 1991 was CNN’s coming-out party, as it was the only outlet offering live communications from inside Iraq during the initial bombing strikes. Five years later, CNN (along with the other Turner broadcasting networks) merged with Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX), which dramatically expanded its reach, both domestically and internationally. Today, CNN reaches more than 100 million households and nearly a million hotel rooms in the United States, and is also available in an international format in virtually all of the world’s sovereign countries.
The trust that couldn’t be busted
Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) quickly became a leader in the aluminum industry after its founding in the late 1800s, in no small part because of its role in inventing the industry with a revolutionary new extraction process that made commercial aluminum production possible for the first time. So dominant was its market position that the U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust suit against the company on June 1, 1938. Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) was by far the largest player in the aluminum market at the time, with an estimated 90% share of all American virgin aluminum production.
The case dragged on until 1945, when a landmark decision reframing the very definition of “monopoly” allowed Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) to skate past the trust-busters wholly intact. You can read more about the decision and its aftermath when you click on this link.