Year
1867

First stock ticker debuts

On this day in 1867, the first stock ticker is unveiled in New York City. The advent of the ticker ultimately revolutionized the stock market by making up-to-the-minute prices available to investors around the country. Prior to this development, information from the New York Stock Exchange, which has been around since 1792, traveled by mail or messenger.

The ticker was the brainchild of Edward Calahan, who configured a telegraph machine to print stock quotes on streams of paper tape (the same paper tape later used in ticker-tape parades). The ticker, which caught on quickly with investors, got its name from the sound its type wheel made.

The last mechanical stock ticker debuted in 1960 and was eventually replaced by computerized tickers with electronic displays. A ticker shows a stock’s symbol, how many shares have traded that day and the price per share. It also tells how much the price has changed from the previous day’s closing price and whether it’s an up or down change. A common misconception is that there is one ticker used by everyone. In fact, private data companies run a variety of tickers; each provides information about a select mix of stocks.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Baby Fae dies

“Baby Fae,” a month-old infant who had received a baboon-heart transplant, dies at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, California. The infant, named Baby Fae by doctors to protect her parents’ anonymity, was born with hypoplastic left-heart syndrome, an almost ...read more

Erwin Rommel is born

Erwin Rommel, the German commander known as the “Desert Fox” for his cunning in North Africa during World War II, is born in Heidenheim, Germany. Rommel’s father and grandfather were teachers, but he chose a military career for himself, enlisting in the German army as an officer ...read more

Brazil’s last emperor deposed

After a 49-year reign, Pedro II, the second and last emperor of Brazil, is deposed in a military coup. The Brazilian monarchy was established in 1822, when Portugal’s crown prince, Dom Pedro, defied his Parliament and proclaimed an independent Brazil under his rule. The Brazilian ...read more

Second moratorium against the war held

Following a symbolic three-day “March Against Death,” the second national “moratorium” opens with mass demonstrations in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Organized by the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (“New Mobe”), an estimated 500,000 demonstrators ...read more

Craig Breedlove sets new land-speed record

On November 15, 1965 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, 28-year-old Californian Craig Breedlove sets a new land-speed record–600.601 miles an hour–in his car, the Spirit of America, which cost $250,000 and was powered by a surplus engine from a Navy jet. He actually drove ...read more

President Carter hosts shah of Iran

On this day in 1977, President Jimmy Carter welcomes Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran, and his wife, Empress (or “Shahbanou”) Farrah, to Washington. Over the next two days, Carter and Pahlavi discussed improving relations between the two countries. Two years later, the two ...read more

Zebulon Pike spots an imposing mountain

Approaching the Colorado foothills of the Rocky Mountains during his second exploratory expedition, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike spots a distant mountain peak that looks “like a small blue cloud.” The mountain was later named Pike’s Peak in his honor. Pike’s explorations of the newly ...read more

Elvis makes movie debut in Love Me Tender

On this day in 1956, Love Me Tender, featuring the singer Elvis Presley in his big-screen debut, premieres in New York City at the Paramount Theater. Set in Texas following the American Civil War, the film, which co-starred Richard Egan and Debra Paget, featured Elvis as Clint ...read more

Plane crashes into Sri Lankan plantation

A plane carrying Muslim pilgrims from Mecca to Indonesia crashes in Sri Lanka on this day in 1978, killing 183 people. The Icelandic Airlines DC-8 was chartered by Garuda Indonesian Airways to carry Muslim pilgrims back to Indonesia from their trek to Mecca. The flight was ...read more

The March to the Sea begins

On this day in 1864, Union General William T. Sherman begins his expedition across Georgia by torching the industrial section of Atlanta and pulling away from his supply lines. For the next six weeks, Sherman’s army destroyed most ofthe statebefore capturing the Confederate ...read more

Craig Breedlove sets new land-speed record

On November 15, 1965 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, 28-year-old Californian Craig Breedlove sets a new land-speed record—600.601 miles per hour—in his car, the Spirit of America, which cost $250,000 and is powered by a surplus engine from a Navy jet. He actually drove ...read more

Articles of Confederation adopted

After 16 months of debate, the Continental Congress, sitting in its temporary capital of York, Pennsylvania, agrees to adopt the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union on this day in 1777. Not until March 1, 1781, would the last of the 13 states, Maryland, ratify the ...read more