September 24, 1944, will forever be a pivotal date in Johnson & Johnson's milestone-packed, over 130-year history: It was the day it launched its initial public offering, making Johnson & Johnson a publicly traded company.
The decision to list the company on the New York Stock Exchange wasn't taken lightly by members of the Johnson family, who wanted to make sure the company continued to put the needs of its customers and employees first.
So in preparation for the IPO, General Robert Wood Johnson, son of one of the founding brothers, drafted the company's Credo, a mission statement that is used to this day to help guide business practices and corporate social responsibility.
In the 74 years since Johnson & Johnson hit the stock market, the company and the world have evolved, and the Credo has been updated at key moments to reflect those changes—but its core priorities of citizenship and accountability remain.
Step back in time with us to see what else made 1944 such a memorable year.