• On May 19, 1715, the colony of New York passes a law making it illegal to “gather, rake, take up, or bring to the market, any oysters whatsoever” during May, June, July and August. This regulation was only one of many that were passed in the early days of America to help preserve certain species.
• On May 17, 1792, a group of 24 traders gather under a buttonwood tree at 68 Wall Street in lower Manhattan to work out the regulations of the speculative market. The result was the Buttonwood Agreement, a two-sentence contract that gave birth to the New York Stock Exchange.
• On May 20, 1873, Levi Strauss secures the necessary patents for canvas pants with copper rivets to reinforce the stress points. Unable to sell a large supply of canvas in the California mining camps, Strauss had hit on the idea of using the durable material to make work pants for miners.
• On May 18, 1917, six weeks after the United States formally enters the First World War, the U.S. Congress passes the Selective Service Act, giving the president the power to draft soldiers. By the end of World War I in November 1918, some 24 million men had registered.
• On May 15, 1982, “Ebony and Ivory,” a duet by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, takes the top spot in the Billboard Hot 100. This continued the pop music trend of pairing successful duos, such as Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond, and Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.
(c) 2012 King Features Synd.