Federal Reserve Centennial

Fed History Web Gateway

The Federal Reserve has launched the History Web Gateway, a new online resource with biographies, images, and essays on key events in the Fed's 100-year history. The gateway is part of the Fed's effort during its centennial year to encourage a deeper reflection on its role in the nation's economy.

The History Web Gateway offers students, educators, researchers, and others information about the founding of the Fed and its purpose, more than 230 biographies of key individuals, essays on major events in the Fed's history, and access to various Fed archives. Additional content and features will be added over time.

Federal Reserve Centennial Lessons

As part of the Centennial, three new classroom-ready lessons have been developed to help high school students understand Fed history, Fed functions and how the roles of the Fed have evolved over time. All of the lessons are tied to the Common Core and national content standards in social studies and economics. Two of the lessons are also accompanied by PowerPoint slides.

Lesson 1 - Defining Moments in Federal Reserve System History: 1907-1935

Lesson 2 - The Federal Reserve System Shuffle: 1945-1987 | PowerPoint Slides

Lesson 3 - The Modern Federal Reserve System: Changes and Trends in Federal Reserve Functions | PowerPoint Slides

Lessons Combined

Financial Fundamentals Lessons

Our free, classroom-ready lesson plans take the mystery out of money smarts. Our lessons help you cover the basics of personal finance with videos, group activities, and more. Students will learn about the pros and cons of credit, how to choose a bank, and the smartest place to invest: their own future.

Each lesson aligns with the national Common Core Standards and the Council for Economic Education’s Standards in personal finance.

Focus on Finance (English, Spanish) | PowerPoint Slides

When you’re selecting a bank, the possibilities can be daunting. As students find part-time jobs and take on greater expenses such as cars and college payments, they can’t afford not to know the basics of banking. With the help of an online video, this lesson teaches students about the different services that financial institutions provide. Then, students will compare several financial institutions and pick the one that best meets their needs. Topics include debit cards, fees, ATMs, and more.

Credit (English, Spanish) | PowerPoint Slides

Credit is a popular option for making purchases and covering expenses if you don’t have money on-hand.  However, it can be easy to overlook the consequences of committing yourself to frequent payments. Students will see how using credit impacts their net worth, monthly budget, and balance sheet. Working in groups, students will discuss borrowing scenarios and evaluate if credit may be a good option.

Invest in Yourself (English, Spanish) | PowerPoint Slides

When it comes to lifetime earnings, education makes all the difference. With the help of data from the Fed, students can see how each year spent in school improves their future opportunities. Students will identify a possible career in the Occupational Outlook Handbook and consider the steps necessary to achieve their goals. This lesson will help get students thinking about college applications and their plans following graduation. Students will work in groups and partners to complete hands-on activities, draw graphs, and write about what they learned.

Savvy Savers(English, Spanish) | PowerPoint Slides

Not all savings accounts are created equal. Students will learn what to look for when comparing savings accounts, including a quick and easy formula for approximating how much interest their savings will accumulate over time. This lesson introduces students to a core principle of investment: the greater the risk, the greater the opportunity for reward.  Students of all ages will learn about the benefits of using a savings account as an essential part of their budget.

Centennial Inventory

The Federal Reserve System is compiling an inventory of historical Federal Reserve documents and items. The inventory of historical materials will help to enhance transparency through improved web access to records of the Federal Reserve's past. The inventory will also serve as a resource for researchers, academics, and others interested in studying the history of the nation's central bank.

Do you have information about collections, or do you have documents or items that should be added to the inventory? Submit details here. Answers to frequently asked questions related to inventory submissions are available.

Centennial Merchandise

Merchandise to commemorate the Federal Reserve System's centennial is available for purchase online.