The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG) on Monday celebrated its 200th anniversary of helping its customers achieve what’s ahead. To commemorate the company’s May 10, 1810, incorporation date, CEO Liam E. McGee and CFO Christopher J. Swift rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The company’s Richard Childress Racing’s No. 33 Chevrolet Impala with The Hartford’s commemorative logo was also on display at the NYSE event. And, in honor of The Hartford’s role as the founding partner of the U.S. Paralympics, there were curling, wheelchair basketball, and sit volleyball demonstrations at the NYSE.

“For 200 years, this iconic American company has helped its customers achieve what’s ahead, earning a reputation for trust, integrity and customer service excellence,” said McGee. “The company has played a critical role in America’s history, protecting and investing in the country’s trials and triumphs. We have assisted customers through almost every major historic event in the U.S. since 1810.”

The Hartford has been involved with numerous milestones in the nation’s history including:

? Providing the contract bonds for construction of the Hoover Dam in 1931 and the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937;

? Issuing a personal liability policy for President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 190-acre working farm and insuring Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Ill., in 1861;

? Paying out almost $2 million in claims after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed nearly 17,500 buildings and claimed 250 lives; and

? Paying more than 950 business, life, auto and property claims as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“As the company enters its third century, The Hartford is more committed than ever to its customers, agents and brokers, communities, shareholders and importantly, to our 28,000 teammates. We are well-positioned to move forward and have everything we need for success: a new strategy; a large and growing customer base; a broad and diverse product portfolio; and an enviable distribution network of agents, brokers and financial advisors. The Hartford’s goal is to deliver sustained, profitable growth over time with strength, confidence, focus and discipline,” said McGee.

Additional Bicentennial Celebration events scheduled for The Hartford include:

? Bicentennial branded corporate advertising in major publications and online, featuring a celebratory gatefold ad in TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People issue, as well as graphics celebrating the company’s history on the homepage of the Wall Street Journal online and trade advertisements.

? In the spirit of the company’s longstanding commitment to philanthropy in the communities where employees live and work, The Hartford will sponsor employee community service programs and events in local markets across the country. In Hartford, the company and its employees raised more than $230,000 for Foodshare’s 2010 “Walk Against Hunger.” Thousands of employees are expected to participate in fundraising and volunteer activities with nonprofit organizations across the country to help their local communities achieve what’s ahead.

? Recognition programs for agents and partners, including philanthropic contributions in their honor, as well as other special events and activities.

Visit www.thehartford.com for more information on The Hartford’s bicentennial celebration, products and services. Photo courtesy of Mel Nudelman.