This month in New York Life history—July.

New York Life | July 1, 2020


At New York Life

Jul 1, 1951

New York Life entered the market for group life insurance. The first policy was issued July 1, 1951 for the 425 employees of the World Bank. Group policies had been gaining in popularity as employment benefits since World War II.

Jul 1, 2008

Theodore “Ted” Mathas became CEO of New York Life, retaining the title of president as well. His predecessor, Sy Sternberg, remained chairman for another year to assist the transition.

Jul 12, 1894

Future U.S. President and New York Life Director Calvin Coolidge took out his first New York Life policy while still a student in Vermont. Coolidge was one of at least nine U.S. presidents to hold a New York Life policy. After Coolidge retired from the presidency, he joined New York Life’s Board of Directors.

Jul 20, 1977

Dam failures caused flooding in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the same area hit by a catastrophic flood in 1889. Although fortunately the death toll was small compared to the earlier disaster, hundreds of people were left homeless. New York Life officials flew to the area to administer policies and make loans, and lapsed premiums were given a grace period. The company would begin doing the same thing in California only six days later, when wildfires struck Santa Barbara.

July 29, 1993

In the middle of a devastating flood in the American Midwest after the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers overflowed, the New York Life Foundation pledged $100,000 to the Red Cross to aid relief efforts, as well as a program to match employee and agent contributions.

Jul 31, 2012

Seguros Monterrey New York Life (SMNYL), New York Life’s wholly owned Mexican subsidiary, opened New York Life Tower in Mexico City. The 32-story building received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (L.E.E.D) certification as a green building. It houses approximately 2,500 employees and agents.


Around the World

July 1, 1862

President Abraham Lincoln signed the first income tax bill, levying a 3% income tax on annual incomes of $600-$10,000 and a 5% tax on incomes over $10,000. Also on this day, the Bureau of Internal Revenue was established by an Act of Congress.

July 2, 1964

 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race in public accommodations, publicly owned or operated facilities, employment and union membership and in voter registration. The Act allowed for cutoff of Federal funds in places where discrimination remained.

July 4, 1776 

The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress.

July 6, 1885

Louis Pasteur gave the first successful anti-rabies inoculation to a boy who had been bitten by an infected dog.

July 14, 1789

The fall of the Bastille occurred at the beginning of the French Revolution.

July 18, 1947

President Harry Truman signed an Executive Order determining the line of succession if the president becomes incapacitated or dies in office. Following the vice president, the speaker of the house and president of the Senate are next in succession. This became the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified on February 10, 1967.

July 20, 1969

A global audience watched on television as Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong  took his first step onto the moon. As he stepped onto the moon's surface he proclaimed, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." 

July 25, 1909

The world's first international overseas airplane flight was achieved by Louis Bleriot in a small monoplane. After asking, "Where is England?" he took off from France and landed in England near Dover, where he was greeted by British police.

July 31, 1790

The U.S. Patent Office first opened its doors. The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont for a new method of making pearlash and potash. The patent was signed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.


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Media contact

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937