The Bad, bad number

Three different times this past week, I was compelled to write about the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929. Black Tuesday.

I kept seeing references to this significant historical event in various articles I was reading. But, I did not follow through with the topic for fear of boring the masses.

However, the financial news this Saturday morning made me squiggle. And writhe. After a crummy week of trading, the stock market dropped by a huge margin. It was the sixth biggest drop. Ever.

And the scale of the drop was 666 points. 666.

If you haven’t heard, that number has a bit of a reputation. In fact, it is thought to be a bit of a bad omen. And this comes just after a train full of Republican Lawmakers crash into a ….. garbage truck …. of all things.

All of this falls during the week that the President of the United States delivers the State of the Union address.

Not that I am superstitious or anything. But I will point out that the entire nation just venerated a Groundhog in a top hat, to tell them if they should wear a coat, or not, for the upcoming six weeks.

Yet those same Americans, for the most part, don’t believe in the proven scientific evidence concerning climate change. At least, not enough to do anything.

Oh. But Woe is Me.  Wednesday’s Child is full of woe.  Whoa.

Back to the Stock Market. Mark Twain once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

We should be listening for the next verse.

The first one happened on October 29, 1929. They named it Black Tuesday. It was the day that wrath and terror hit Wall Street. Investors traded some 16 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day.

Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors. It was ugly with a capital U. And after the brutal plunge of Black Tuesday, America tumbled into the Great Depression (1929-39). The rest of the Industrialize World went with it. This would be the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in history. My parents were youngsters during this time. It left an indelible mark on the both of them.

As such, my Dad was a recycler, a scrimper, a saver. And my Mom bought three of everything for the pantry and the freezer, so that we would never run out. Bits of their experience have trickled down on me.

So, tonight, it all swirls around in my mind. Especially when Friday’s market was cruelly stamped with a 666. I could not help but write about that Black Tuesday. And hope that come Monday morning, we are not singing the next rhyming verse.


“We’ll be remembered more for what we destroy than what we create.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters


“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt


“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
― Edmund Burke