MAMARONECK, N.Y. – The grand theater that was the New York Stock Exchange, with its traders either cheering wildly or staring at their screens in horror with crumpled bits of paper littering the floor around their feet, may be gone now that selling and buying is almost entirely done by computer.
But that didn’t make ringing the closing bell at precisely 4 p.m. last Friday any less thrilling for Mamaroneck High School senior Sophia Danziger and a gaggle of other Future Business Leaders of America.
Danziger reportedly worked for months to get her group onto the white balustered balcony perched above the trading floor.
With an enormous American flag as a backdrop, and an ear-to-ear grin, Danziger reached over at the appointed time and flipped the switch, setting off the iconic clanging, and a few whoops from the crowd.
Jean Buckley, national CEO of FBLA, then picked up a old-fashioned wooden gavel and gave it a couple of hearty whacks to the applause of the folks below.
(The signal to stop trading wasn’t always a bell; it started out as a gavel, and then switched to a gong in the late 1800s. When the Exchange moved to Broad Street, the gong was switched over to the brass bell that’s used today.)
Danziger, the state FBLA’s president and vice president of the student group’s Eastern Region, was joined in the once-in-a-lifetime experience by several of FBLA’s 2017 New York state student officers, three members of the Board of Trustees, and Mamaroneck High School FBLA co-presidents Marie Amelie Morange and Lauren Pogostin, both seniors.
Danziger and company -- perhaps hoping to stretch the moment out -- were all still smiling and shaking hands with each other as the camera pulled back and panned over pods of blue-jacketed humans quietly interacting with computer screens.