Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society

The Institution of Experience: Self-Regulatory Organizations in the Securities Industry, 1792-2010

Governing a New Market


- 1973 Chicago Board Options Exchange Opening Day

On April 26, 1973, financial professionals and dignitaries gathered to inaugurate the first day of trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). Options trading was nothing new, but it had always been an arcane practice, its social value suspect.

The "time contracts," enforcement of which was outlawed by the state of New York in 1792, were essentially options. Congress had even considered banning options trading in 1934 but allowed it under SEC supervision. Thirty-nine years later, SEC Chairman G. Bradford Cook, exercising that supervision, launched what he called "a new era in the securities market."70

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Related Museum Resources


November 14, 1973
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
February 8, 2019
document pdf (Courtesy of Joe Sullivan)


CBOE President Joseph W. Sullivan, SEC Chairman G. Bradford Cook, Illinois Governor Dan Walker and CBOE Chairman Owen H. Nichols
(Courtesy of Chicago Board Options Exchange )

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