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October 19th in New York City's History - Bulls and Bears, oh my! edition. Stamp Act Congress.  Dr Elizabeth Blackwell in 1849.  Football rules.  Mike Tyson returns.

Posted: Oct 19, 2012 | 12:15 AM

1885:  Charles E. Merrill, the banker who made Merrill Lynch the top stock brokerage firm in the United States, was born.  He died in 1956. 

To answer the tourists' questions and the assertions that the Wall Street Bull is a copy of the Merrill Lynch logo: No.  Both bulls refer to a "bull market" in which most investors profit because the markets go up. 

Gambling and stock investing go way back in NYC.  Back when gambling was a blood sport, Bulls and Bears were pitted against each other in death matches for bets.  Bulls fight up, goring the bears.  Bears fight down, crouching to break the bulls' backs. 

Some people profit from Bear Markets because they use other peoples' money to speculate, betting that stocks would fall in value.



1987:  The Dow becomes the down with the stockmarket losing over 500 points, nearly one quarter of its value.

But by 1989 two great things happened.  The stock market returned to boom level while a giant bronze Charging Bull appeared in front of the New York Stock Exchange like a Christmas present under the tree. 

In 1987, Arturo DiModica sculpted this raging and smiling symbol of capitalism's dynamism to cheer up the stock market which was already doing fine.  The has been entertaining tourists since.

In 2009 Merrill Lynch ceased being an independent firm, a casualty of the financial crisis.

In 2011, Wall Street largely recovered from the lows of 2008 and 2009, but most people hadn't, so Occupy Wall Street put a ballerina dancing on the Bull.  Ever since then, Charging Bull is under constant police guard against ballerinas.


2006:  For the first time, The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 12,000.




1765:  The Stamp Act Congress convened in New York's City Hall, later Federal Hall, conveying that taxation without representation is tyranny. 

A lot happened there, the Peter Zenger trial 30 years before, establishing freedom of the press.  In 1789, the first capitol was there where the Bill of Rights was presented to the United States of America and the world.  In 1810, Santa Claus was presented to
New York City to galvanize support for the coming War of 1812.  In 2010, this is where my Santa Claus' Bi-Centennial Birthday Tour premiered, and continues to start.



1849:  Elizabeth Blackwell graduated from medical school in New York State, to great controversy, because she was the first American woman to do so
.  She then had her own private practice in New York City.  Subsequently she opened the New York Dispensary for Poor Women and Children in 1853. She and her sister Dr. Emily Blackwell founded the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children in 1857.  The following decade, Elizabeth Blackwell started the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary which advocated that sanitary conditions are important to health.


1873:  Four of the five pioneering football colleges establish intercollegiate athletic rules; Columbia, Rutgers, Yale, and University of Pennsylvania met at the Fifth Avenue Hotel.  Harvard held out for its own rules, which were later merged with these earlier ones.  For many years, college football was football, well before there were professionals.

I wonder what football would have been like without these rules, considering that even in the early 20th Century college football had a fatality nearly every week of the season.


1945:  John Lithgow born.  I have to research if he has a New York connection.  I am assuming so.


1977:  The Concorde supersonic jet makes its first voyage to New York City from France in less than four hours
.  I loved seeing the Concorde.  The closest I got to it was stepping on board at the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum.


1998: Brooklyn's Mike Tyson gets his boxing license back after biting Evander Holyfield's ear in a boxing match.


2008:  Brooklyn and CUNY's Colin Powell, a bi-partisan Republican who was President George W. Bush's Secretary of State endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for President
.



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