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A Look Back At When Dow First Closed Above 10,000

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

A one followed by four zeros is just a number, as Jim said, a meaningless one, an arbitrary number. But now that the Dow has hit 10,000, it's worth looking back at the first time this happened.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

And it was 10 years ago. March 29th, 1999. It seems so long ago.

(Soundbite of ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, March 29, 1999)

Unidentified Woman: The NATO bombing campaign in Yugoslavia goes on, as thousands of refugees pour over borders.

Unidentified Man: Concerns arising about Serb treatment of civilians in Kosovo. We'll ask about the possibility of NATO using ground troops there.

SIEGEL: Those were the headlines on our program. The month before, President Bill Clinton had been acquitted in his impeachment trial. The so-called dot-com boom was still booming. People were fretting about a looming year 2000 computer problem - Y2K. And Dr. Jack Kevorkian had just been found guilty of murder in an assisted suicide case.

(Soundbite of music, "The X Files")

NORRIS: And in the fictional world that is television, since back then people didn't have YouTube to amuse themselves endlessly, the FBI agents Mulder and Scully knew the truth was out there somewhere on the TV show "The X Files."

SIEGEL: So did Charles Henry Dow and Edward D. Jones ever imagine the number 10,000. They began calculating a daily industrial's average back in 1896. It wasn't until 1906 that the Dow reached 100 and it didn't touch 1,000 until 1972. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.