[From its earliest days (such as the one, in May 1792, when the Buttonwood Agreement was signed under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street) to its humble beginnings in 1817 when it rented rooms at 40 Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange has been inordinately benefiting from boom times and annihilating the US and world economies on a semi-regular basis ever since - to the point where its daily opening bell must more often than not sound like a death knell. This building, located at 18 Broad Street and designed by George B. Post, opened in 1903; it was designated a National Historic Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places in June 1978.]
1755 - Thomas Paine published African Slavery in America, the first American document to call for the total abolition of slavery.
1782 - Some 90 Moravian Christians of the Lenape living in the Ohio village of Gnadenhütten had their skulls crushed with mallets during the Gnadenhütten Massacre, which was carried out by 160 Pennsylvanian militiamen under Lieutenant Colonel David Williamson in retaliation for raids against American forces carried out by other Indians of the same nation.
1817 - The New York Stock Exchange was founded, with Anthony Stockholm as its first president.
1844 - Oscar I ascended to the throne of Sweden-Norway following the death of his father, Charles XIV John.
1911 - International Women's Day was launched in Copenhagen by Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women's Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany.
1921 - Eduardo Dato Iradier was assassinated by Catalan anarchists while exiting the parliament building in Madrid, the second Spanish Prime Minister in a decade to be so killed; a predecessor, Jose Canalejas, had met a similar fate at the hands of anarchist Manuel Pardiñas in November 1912.
1924 - The Castle Gate mine disaster killed 172 coal miners near Castle Gate, Utah.
1936 - The Daytona Beach Road Course held its first oval stock car race, but those participating were only able to complete 75 of the 78 laps planned; Milt Marion was declared the winner, with second place finisher Ben Shaw and third place finisher Tommy Elmore unsuccessfully protesting the results.
1945 - Allied forces moved large numbers of troops across the Rhine River to significantly reinforce and expand their tenuous hold on the captured Ludendorff Bridge (better known as the Bridge at Remagen), allowing them to push some armor across the river and better secure the nascent lodgement. Capturing the bridge cleared the way for Operation Plunder to proceed later in the month; the event was later made into the 1969 film The Bridge at Remagen, and the remains of the bridge today house a museum.
1957 - The 1957 Georgia Memorial to Congress, which petitioned the U.S. Congress to declare the ratification of the 14th & 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution null and void, was adopted by the state of Georgia.
1963 - The Ba'ath Party came to power in Syria following a coup d'état by a clique of quasi-leftist Syrian Army officers calling themselves the National Council of the Revolutionary Command. Salah al-Din al-Bitar was chosen as Prime Minister under this arrangement; the Ba'ath Party remains in power in Syria to this day.
1966 - A bomb planted by young Irish protesters including Joe Christle blew up Nelson's Pillar in the centre of Dublin's O'Connell Street; no one was hurt in the blast although a taxi operated by Steve Maughan was totally destroyed in the blast. Within days the Go Lucky Four (comprised of four schoolteachers from Belfast - Gerry Burns, Finbar Carolan, John Sullivan and Eamonn McGirr) had a pop hit with Up Went Nelson (sung to the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic) which lasted six weeks on the charts; in January 2003 the Spire of Dublin was erected on the same site.
1971 - Joe Frazier became the undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion after winning a unanimous 15-round decision over Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden in New York.
1974 - Charles de Gaulle Airport opened near Paris.
1978 - The first-ever episode of the radio series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, was transmitted on BBC Radio 4.
1980 - The Tbilisi Rock Festival - the first such event of its kind to feature rock music in the Soviet Union - began; in all the event would run for eight days and feature such rock music legends as Moscow's Mashina Vremeni (fronted by Andrei Makarevich), Gunnar Graps’s Magnetic Band from Talinn, and Alexander Sitkovetsky’s art-rock group Autograph.
1983 - US President Ronald Reagan first called the Soviet Union an 'evil empire' during a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando; although thought to have been coined by Reagan's speechwriter, Anthony R. Dolan, for use in an address to the British House of Commons in June 1982, the phrase appears nowhere in the so-called 'Evil Empire speech' except in its title.
1985 - A failed assassination attempt against Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in Beirut killed at least 45 and injured 175 others.
2004 - A new transitional constitution was signed by Iraq's Governing Council; it has since been replaced by a permanent constitution, approved by referendum in October 2005.
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