Fed Timeline

History of the Chicago Fed

  • 1914 - 1934

    James B. McDougal becomes the first governor (president) of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • 1914

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago occupies temporary headquarters on two floors of the Rector Building on the southeast corner of Clark and Monroe streets. As business expands the bank adds six or more floors of the Rector Building.
  • 1914 - 1919

    World War 1

  • 1914 - 1947

    Margaret Hartnett First woman employee Margaret Hartnett was the first woman employed by the Bank as a Switchboard Operator on November 6, 1914. She retired as Switchboard Supervisor on September 30, 1947.

  • 1917

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago organized a Government Bond Department through which the actual accounting for and distribution of Liberty Bonds were handled.

  • 1920

    An armored car, known as the "Little Giant", on one of Chicago's many unpaved streets.


  • 1922

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago completes its permanent home. The building's front façade, with its 65-foot-tall Corinthian colonnades, was designed by the firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White to produce "the impression of dignity and strength.”

  • 1926

    The eighth-annual employee dinner and dance in the Chicago Fed's dining room and gymnasium. It was hosted by the bank's directors and officers and featured dinner, entertainment, music and dancing.

  • 1927

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago opens the first permanent home of its Detroit Branch at 160 W. Fort St., in the heart of Detroit's financial district. The Branch, built in the Classical Revival style, closes in 2004 and is listed on the National Register.

  • 1929 - 1933

    The banking panic known as the Great Depression.
  • 1933

    The establishment of the Fed’s monetary policy group, the Federal Open Market Committee.

  • 1934 - 1941

    George J. Schaller becomes the second governor (president) of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

  • 1941 - 1956

    Clifford (Hap) S. Young becomes the third president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

  • 1941 - 1945

    World War II

  • 1942

    On September 1, 1942, the Federal Reserve Bank took over the handling of sales analysis of War Savings Bonds which was formerly handled by the Treasury Department. This activity consisted of furnishing reports to State Administrators and other Federal Reserve Banks.

  • 1947

    Officers Walter Mueller(left) and William Miller in front of the Bank's cash vault.

  • 1949

    Members of a choral group perform in the second-floor lobby during holiday festivities.

  • 1955

    Kathryn E. Lee named assistant cashier, becoming the first female officer at the Bank.

  • 1956 - 1961

    Carl E. Allen becomes the fourth president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

  • 1962

    Chicago Fed operators had to learn every number in the building as well as an entirely new telephone system.

  • 1962 - 1970

    Charles J. Scanlon becomes the fifth president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

  • 1964

    Annual Conference on Bank Structure and Competition Chicago Fed hosts its first conference to serve as a forum for academics, regulators and industry participants to debate current issues affecting the financial services industry. The last conference was held in 2015.
  • 1967

    Commuters walk down snow-covered LaSalle Street following the historic blizzard of January 27, 1967.

  • 1969

    Buddie J. Belford was appointed first woman Assistant Vice President, in Personnel.

  • 1970

    In the early 1970s, the Chicago Fed coordinated the newly established Interdistrict Transportation System (ITS), an air transport service that provided overnight delivery of checks.

  • 1970 - 1981

    Robert P. Mayo becomes the sixth president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • 1971

    Charlotte Scott named first African American officer at the Bank.

  • 1977

    The Community Reinvestment Act is intended to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound operations.
  • 1981 - 1994

    Silas Keehn becomes the seventh president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • 1987

    The Stock Market Crash of 1987, the first contemporary global financial markets crash. Alan Greenspan confirms the Fed’s availability to support the liquidity of the economic and financial systems.
  • 1990

    Chicago Fed Employee Activity Council (EAC) members at the EAC card party. This party's theme was "Sporting Their Sports," with members wearing clothing from their favorite sports team.

  • 1990

    Guadalupe Garcia named the first Hispanic officer at the Bank.

  • 1990

    The Bank joined forces with the University of Illinois to establish the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory (REAL), a center for research on the changing nature of the District economy.
  • 1990

    The Bank expanded it community outreach with the opening of a computerized interactive lobby display explaining the Bank's role.
  • 1994

    First woman Senior Vice President Nancy M. Goodman became in charge of Community and Information Services.

  • 1994 - 2007

    Michael H. Moskow becomes the eighth president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • 1997

    First annual International Banking Conference held. It was designed to focus on important current international issues in banking and finance by bringing together researchers and policymakers from different countries and different perspectives. The conference is generally cosponsored with a major international organization.
  • 2005

    The victory parade passes in front of the Bank in October after the Chicago White Sox swept the Houston Astros 4-0 in the baseball World Series.

  • 2007 - Present

    Charles L. Evans becomes the ninth president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • 2007 - 2009

    The Great Recession occurs: A steep decline in economic activity, generally considered to be the largest downturn since the Great Depression.
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