• On May 17, 1792, a group of 24 traders gather 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 14, 1904, the first Olympic Games to be held in the United States open in St. Louis. The 1904 Games were initially awarded to Chicago, but were given to St. Louis to be staged in connection with the St. Louis World Exposition. However, the Games were overshadowed by the world fair.
• On May 12, 1925, a Philadelphia radio station broadcasts the first all-star radio program featuring film actors and actresses. Sound films had not yet debuted, and it marked the first time that most listeners had heard the voices of film stars like Lillian Gish and Marion Davies.
• On May 15, 1942, a bill creates the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAACs) in the U.S. Army, granting women official military status in a wide variety of roles around the world. The 16,000 women who joined the early WAACs would not receive veterans’ benefits until 1980.
• On May 13, 1956, Gene Autry’s musical variety show, “Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch,” airs its final broadcast after 16 years. The show featured short skits about cowboys and rustlers, along with musical numbers by Autry, “America’s singing cowboy.”
• On May 16, 1975, Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. In 1988, Stacy Allison became the first American woman to successfully climb Everest.
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