The New York Stock Exchange doesn’t close often, but when it does it’s noteworthy. Storm Sandy’s wrath upon New York left the exchange closed Monday and Tuesday—the first weather-related closing longer than a day since 1888.
Blizzards, heat, a world war and funerals for various dignitaries from Queen Victoria to former vice presidents have all left the exchange dark. The first such instance was following the death of former President Ulysses S. Grant.
And then there were the terrorist attacks, in 1920 and 2001, that suspended trading. But despite the closings over the years, the exchange has more often continued on in the face of tragedy and mourning.
Here are 8 Events That Closed or Shook the NYSE: 1914: World War I
The New York Stock Exchange closed on July 31, 1914, three days after the War in Europe started. With foreign investors selling their holdings like crazy to finance the war, all world markets closed to prevent a massive sell-off. The NYSE did not fully reopen until December. Trading in bonds to finance the war did begin in November to help the warring nations prevent financial ruin. The markets did not recover until after the new year in 1915.
1920: Anarchist Bomb
A bomb placed in a horse-drawn wagon in the heart of New York’s financial district by anarchists exploded at noon on Sept. 16, 1920. Forty people were killed and 300 were injured. Trading was suspended for the rest of the day. When it resumed the next day the market rose 1.5%. The pockmarks from shrapnel can still be seen on Wall Street buildings.
1929: Black Monday
The stock exchange did all of its trading by hand in those days, and the volume of investors selling kept workers busy well into the night. Although panic was spreading, it was decided not to suspend trading amid fears it would further erode confidence.
1941: Pearl Harbor Attacked
The surprise attack by the Japanese navy occurred on Sunday. Markets opened as usual the next day and fell more than 7% over two days of trading. The lower prices didn’t last long. After the spring of 1942, stocks started back up. An investment in blue chip stocks would have netted an annual return of 25% through the end of 1945.