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Whirlpool celebrates 100 years

Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool kicked off its yearlong 100th anniversary celebration today with a series of events, including company chairman and CEO Jeff Fetting ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, the company said.

"It is appropriate for our company to begin this historic year with the New York Stock Exchange," Fettig said. "Our company held its first stockholders' meeting on Nov. 11, 1911.  For 99 years, we have worked diligently to create long-term value for our shareholders, and it is only fitting that we would begin our 100th year in business right here on the trading floor of the NYSE. Whirlpool Corp. has had a remarkable and inspiring history."

Fetting said the company first posted its stock on the NYSE 55 years ago.

"Whirlpool Corp.'s history has been guided by principles of integrity and perseverance ever since Lou Upton, Emory Upton and Lowell Bassford launched the first electric wringer washing machine in 1911," Fettig said. "Through the Great Depression, two World Wars, and the rapid economic changes and challenges of more recent years, those ideals have guided our growth from a small washing machine company to a diversified, multibillion-dollar global operation, and they will continue to guide us into our second century."

The company also held two groundbreaking ceremonies as part of the celebration, one for its new campus in the company's headquarters city of Benton Harbor, Mich., and another for a new, 1 million-sq.-ft., LEED-certified manufacturing facility to produce premium cooking products in Cleveland, Tenn.

The company also announced additional events planned throughout the year to recognize the accomplishments of Whirlpool employees and partners around the world. The company said it will publish an official history of Whirlpool and launch an employee volunteerism program encouraging employees to contribute 100 volunteer hours. The company will also hold select facility tours for members of the media and corporate partners.

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