Chronology Highlights
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Stockade Erected in Manhattan
A 12-foot-high wood stockade is erected across lower Manhattan from river to river to protect Dutch settlers from attacks by the British and Indians.
Wall Street Laid Out
Surveyors lay out Wall Street along the line of the stockade.
US Investment Markets Born
The federal government refinances all federal and state Revolutionary War debt, issuing $80 million in bonds. These become the first major issues of publicly traded securities, marking the birth of the U.S. investment markets.
Buttonwood Agreement
Twenty-four prominent brokers and merchants gather on Wall Street to sign the Buttonwood Agreement, agreeing to trade securities on a commission basis. The New York Stock Exchange traces its beginnings to this historic pact.
NY Brokers Form NYS & EB
The New York brokers establish a formal organization, the New York Stock & Exchange Board (NYS&EB) and rent rooms at 40 Wall Street. They adopt a constitution with rules for the conduct of business.
Erie Canal Opens
The opening of the Erie Canal makes New York City the seaboard gateway for the Great Lakes region. New York State bonds, issued to finance the canal, are traded actively on the Exchange.
The Great Fire
The Great Fire destroys over 700 buildings in lower Manhattan. The NYS&EB moves to temporary headquarters.
Panic of 1857
The Ohio Life Insurance & Trust Company collapses. Prices drop eight to ten percent in the course of a single trading session, the culmination of a 45% decline in market value since the beginning of the year.
Outbreak of the Civil War
At the outbreak of the Civil War, the NYS&EB suspends trading in securities of seceding states.
New Name
The New York Stock & Exchange Board becomes the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
NYSE Moves into Permanent Home
The Exchange moves to 10-12 Broad Street, just south of Wall Street. This move, together with subsequent purchases of adjacent land, establishes Wall and Broad as the center of securities trading in America.
Lincoln is Assassinated
The Exchange closes for more than a week following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Property Rights
Membership in the NYSE becomes a "property right," enabling members to sell their seats.
Gold Speculation Tanks Market
On September 24, gold speculation resulted in "Black Friday."
NYSE Closes for 10 Days
Jay Cooke & Company, a prestigious Philadelphia banking firm, fails on September 19 due to over speculation in railroad stocks. The NYSE closes for ten days as a severe financial panic grips the nation.
Move To Current Site
On April 22, the NYSE moves into its new quarters at 18 Broad Street. The new trading floor, still in use today, is 60 percent larger than the previous floor.
Panic of 1907
Rumors of financial problems at Knickerbocker Trust, a leading NY bank, triggers a run on banks throughout the city. This begins the Panic of 1907, regarded as America's most severe financial crisis to date. J.P. Morgan, Sr., who orchestrates a massive operation to infuse cash into banks and shore up the stock market, stems the panic almost single-handedly.
WW1 Causes Longest Exchange Shutdown
As armed conflict engulfs Europe, securities exchanges around the world suspend operations to arrest plunging prices. The NYSE closes its doors on July 31, and does not fully reopen for 4 1/2 months, the longest shutdown in Exchange history.
Wall Street Becomes World Financial Leader
World War I is a turning point. America emerges from the war as a creditor rather than a debtor nation, and Wall Street supplants London as the world investment capital. Over the next decade, more than 1,700 foreign issues will be offered publicly in the U.S.
New Office Space
The Exchange completes a 23-story office tower with additional trading space. The New Trading Room is referred to as “the Garage”, because it is next to the original structure.
Black Thursday
Stock prices fall sharply on October 24, Black Thursday, with record volume of nearly 13 million shares. Five days later, the market crashes on volume of over 16 million shares -- a level not to be surpassed for 39 years. In popular imagery, the crash has come to mark the beginning of the Great Depression
NYSE Closes For Bank Holiday
March 04
The NYSE shut down its operations for FDR's 1933 bank holiday.
First President
William McChesney Martin, Jr., becomes the first full-time salaried president of the exchange.
Public Gallery Opens
The NYSE opens its trading floor gallery to the public. The gallery is known today as the Interactive Education Center.
Centralization of Authority
Continuing the reorganization begun in 1938, the NYSE constitution is revised to centralize administrative authority in the office of the president and his staff.
Women Work on Trading Floor
Women work on the Stock Exchange trading floor for the first time ending the tradition of men only.
Exchange Closes for V-J Day
Victorious American troops are welcomed home with a ticker tape parade. The Exchange closes August 15-16 for V-J Day.
"Own Your Share of American Business"
The NYSE launches the "Own Your Share of American Business" educational and marketing program, aimed at expanding public participation in the stock market.
Eisenhower Heart Attack
President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffers a heart attack on September 24, creating a large wave of selling at the NYSE. Both the president and the market recover quickly.
International Federation of Stock Exchanges
International Federation of Stock Exchanges is organized.
Kennedy Assassinated
The assassination of President Kennedy on November 22 forces an emergency early closing of the Exchange to avoid panic selling.
First Woman Member
Muriel Siebert becomes the first woman member of the Exchange.
Paperwork Crisis
As trading volume surges, member firms struggle to process transactions on time. Member firm back offices work around the clock to keep up. The "paperwork crisis" continues for months, spurring increased automation.
First African-American Member
Joseph L. Searles III becomes the first African-American member of the Exchange.
NYSE Not-for-Profit
The NYSE is incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation.
First Member Organization Listed
On July 27, the NYSE lists its first member organization, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (NYSE Listed-MER).
Board of Directors
In an important organizational change to strengthen the role of the public, investors and listed companies in NYSE governance, the 33-member Board of Governors is replaced by a 21-member Board of Directors with 10 public members. Concurrently, James J. Needham becomes the first full-time salaried chairman of the Exchange.
First Non-US Member Joins NYSE
Bruno Des Forges becomes the first non-US member of the Exchange.
Reagan 1985 Ronald Reagan Visits NYSE
March 28
The United States' 40th President, Ronald Reagan, becomes the first U.S. President to visit the NYSE while in office.

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Reagan on the Bell Podium
Reagan in the Boardroom
Reagan on the Trading Floor
October 19, 1987 Timeline Largest One-Day Percentage Drop
On October 19, the Dow Jones Industrial Average experiences its largest one-day percentage drop in history, 508 points or 22.61 percent. This drop causes volume to surge to an unprecedented 604 million shares. The next day, volume reaches 608 million shares.

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NYSE Trading Floor Crowds
NYSE Trading Post
Crowds on Wall Street
After The Fall
Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev Tour the Trading Floor
May 13
Former President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev tour the trading floor during a visit to the NYSE to commemorate the NYSE's bicentennial.

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Reagan with Gorbachev and former NYSE Chairman and CEO, William H. Donaldson

NYSE floor community greets Reagan and Gorbachev

Bicentennial NYSE Bicentennial
On May 17, the NYSE celebrates its 200th anniversary as one of the world's most vital and enduring financial institutions.
First Russian Listed Company
VimpelCom, the largest provider of cellular telecommunications in Russia, becomes the NYSE's first Russian listed company.
Dow Plummets
On October 27, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 554 points, triggering the NYSE's "circuit breaker" rule for the first time. Trading halts at 3:30 p.m.
Preliminary agreement to build trading facility
December 22
The NYSE reached preliminary agreement to build a trading facility on the block across from the current Exchange building.
Dow's Biggest Point Jump
March 16
The DJIA experiences its largest one-day point gain - 499.19 points - to close at 10,630.60.
First NYSE Exchange - Traded Fund
The NYSE introduces the first equity product that tracks the S&P Global 100 Index -- the iShares S&P Global 100 Exchange Traded Fund (NYSE-listed IOO).
Terrorist Attacks on WTC
On September 11, terrorist attacks destroy the World Trade Center. The NYSE closes for four days -- its longest closure since 1933 -- and reopens on Sept. 17, setting a record volume of 2.37 billion shares.
Dow's Biggest Point Slide
September 17
The DJIA plummets 684.81 points, closing at 8,920.70 - its steepest point decline in a single day.
NYSE Composite Index® Relaunched
NYSE Composite Index®  is relaunched using revised methodology and a new base value of 5,000. The revised index provides investors with a better tool to measure NYSE market performance.
NYSE and ArcaEx Merge
On March 7, the NYSE Group, Inc., a for-profit, publicly-owned company, is formed out of the merger of the New York Stock Exchange and Archipelago Holdings, Inc.  The merger is the largest-ever among securities exchanges up to this time.

NYSE Group, Inc. Corporate Family Tree (pdf)

NYSE Group Completes Acquisition of SIAC from Amex
November 01
SIAC (Securities Industry Automation Corporation) is wholly acquired by NYSE Group, Inc.
President George W. Bush Tours the NYSE
January 31
President Bush becomes the second sitting President to visit the Exchange during the trading day.
NYSE and Euronext Merge
On April 4, NYSE Euronext is formed out of the merger of NYSE Group, Inc. and Euronext N.V. The merger marks a milestone for global financial markets, bringing together major marketplaces across Europe and the United States whose histories stretch back more than four centuries.

 NYSE Euronext CorporateTimeline (pdf)

NYSE Opens Office in Beijing, China
December 11

The New York Stock Exchange opened an office in Beijing. On September 4, the NYSE had become the first foreign exchange to receive approval to open a representative office in China.

Visa Inc., Largest IPO in U.S. History, Lists on the NYSE
March 19
Visa Inc., the world’s largest retail electronic payment network, begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “V” after its historic initial public offering in which it raised $17.86 billion.  Visa’s IPO is the largest domestic initial public offering in U.S. history and the third largest initial public offering worldwide.
NYSE Euronext Acquires American Stock Exchange
October 01
NYSE Euronext acquires the American Stock Exchange(R), becoming the third-largest U.S. options marketplace and enhancing the company’s leadership in ETFs, cash equities, closed-end funds and structured products.  More than 500 Amex-listed companies join NYSE Euronext, adding to it a U.S. platform for small-cap companies and building on the company’s leadership position in global listings.

 Learn more about the American Stock Exchange’s long and colorful history. (pdf)