Our History

Past Board of Directors

Chicago's strategic location at the base of the Great Lakes, close to the fertile farmlands of the Midwest contributes to the city's rapid growth and development as a grain terminal. Problems of supply and demand, transportation, and storage, however, lead to a chaotic marketing situation and the logical development of the futures market.

With the completion of telegraph communication with the South and East, Chicago could quickly receive price information from New York.

To meet the need for a central marketplace, the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) is founded by 82 Chicago merchants, and settles into its first home above the Gage and Haines flour store at 101 S. Water Street where it will meet until 1852.

"To arrive" contracts come into use for future delivery of flour, timothy seed and hay.

The earliest "forward" contract for 3,000 bushels of corn is recorded. Forward contracts gain popularity among merchants and processors.

CBOT moves to quarters at Clark and South Water streets.

Chicago's population grows by 57 percent. CBOT moves to 8 Dearborn Street.

CBOT adopts standard weight of a bushel of wheat at 60 pounds, of oats at 32 pounds.

CBOT moves to Wells and South Water Street.

French government purchases large quantities of wheat in Chicago. This marks the first time European buyers come to Chicago, rather than New York, for grain.

CBOT membership grows by 122 during past five years. CBOT moves to LaSalle and South Water streets.

Exchange receives charter from State of Illinois. Exchange is mandated to set standards of quality, product uniformity and routine inspections of grain.

Membership dues are raised from $2 to $3, and the CBOT becomes a corporation through special Illinois legislative action.

CBOT moves several doors west on South Water Street.

CBOT sponsors the Board of Trade regiments in the Civil War and $220,000 is raised for the war effort.

The Civil War begins. CBOT finances formation of three regiments and an artillery battery for the Union Army. CBOT adopts gold coin as its standard of value.

Grain storage capacity in Chicago reaches 10 million bushels with the completion of new grain elevators.

Forward contracts create confusion for users and subsequent defaults. CBOT formalizes grain trading by developing standardized agreements called "futures contracts." CBOT also begins requiring performance bonds called "margin" to be posted by buyers and sellers in its grain markets.

CBOT moves to its first permanent facility in the Chicago Chamber of Commerce building at LaSalle and Washington Streets.

First transatlantic cable completed. Time required to send message to Europe from Chicago is reduced from three days to three hours.

Great Chicago Fire destroys CBOT's first building and all records therein, as well as the majority of metropolitan Chicago. Temporary wood structure, measuring 90-square feet, called the Wigwam, houses CBOT until Chamber of Commerce building is rebuilt.The CBOT opens two weeks after the fire.

Wall Street panic of 1873. CBOT remains open in spite of failures by dozens of large financial institutions and banks.

Futures trading becomes more formalized and "speculators" enter the picture. Growth in futures trading increases in late 19th and early 20th century as new exchanges form. Many types of commodities are traded on these exchanges, including cotton, butter, eggs, coffee, and cocoa. Futures contracts in wheat, corn and oats established.

As a result of the explosive growth of futures, the CBOT erects a new building at LaSalle Street and Jackson Boulevard, the Chicago's tallest at the time, where it stood until the late 1920s. It's the city's first commercial structure with electrical lighting.

The CBOT organizes the largest meeting of grain exchanges ever held, with 20 grain exchanges and boards of trade attending.

The federal government establishes the Grain Futures Administration to regulate grain trading.

One of the CBOT's biggest years - 26.9 billion bushels of grain traded. Western Union installs automatic ticker to replace slower Morse service for improved quotation system. The Board of Directors are given authority to declare an emergency situation and establish daily price limitations.

A CBOT seat sells for $62,500 (a record until 1973). Exchange outgrows its building, temporarily relocates to quarters at Clark and Van Buren streets while new building is erected at the LaSalle and Jackson site.

CBOT moves into its current home, at LaSalle and Jackson; the 45-story structure dominates the LaSalle Street skyline.

Soybean futures trading begins.

CBOT celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Soybean complex completed with introduction of soybean oil and meal futures.

The CBOT maintains an educational exhibit at the International Dairy Show in the Amphitheater for the first time. Attendance was approximately 190,000.

The CBOT hires its first paid, non-member president. Robert C. Liebenow, 34, is the youngest person to hold the post of CBOT president and serves in that position from August 16, 1956 through May 1967.  AT the same time, Juilus Mayer is elected the first CBOT Chairman.

CBOT introduces the industry's first examination for commodity brokers.

The Exchange makes an important move into livestock futures by establishing a Choice Steer contract in October.

For the first time in the history of the Exchange, teletypewriters are installed on the trading floor, making for fast, accurate order handling for multi-branch operations.

New electronic price display boards are installed on the walls above the trading floors. Price reporting time is cut to seconds.

Iced Broilers, the Exchange's first non-grain related commodity begins trading. The CBOT celebrates its 120th anniversary.

Plywood and Silver futures begin trading. Silver is the Exchange's first precious metals contract.

CBOT strengthens is organization by establishing the Planning and Market Development department.

The Chicago Board of Trade ends its 121-year all-male tradition by admitting Carol J. Ovitz, assistant vice president of Mitchell Hutchins & Company and Mrs. Virginia Hansen, a grain solicitor for Simeral Commodities Inc., into membership.

CBOT begins plans to establish an options exchange, the nation's first exchange for trading securities options.

In a pioneering move, the Board contracts to place its computerized reporting and data processing systems in the hands of a facilities management agency located more than 15 miles from the Exchange trading floor. This marks the first time a major U.S. Exchange turns its computer operations over to an off-site facility.

As a result of new U.S. monetary policies and a changing world financial structure, the futures industry begins expanding its contract offerings to allow businesses and financial institutions extended risk management.

On December 1, the CBOT begins trading Stud Lumber futures.

For the first time since mid-1971, members receive a monthly newsletter, Exchange.

The data card program is instituted. The program offers a series of pocket-sized cards carrying pertinent commodity supply and demand data as issued by the USDA and other sources.

Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) is founded by members of the CBOT. Trading begins in space adjacent to CBOT trading floor.

CBOT launches the first financial futures instrument; futures on the Government National Mortgage Association mortgaged-backed certificates, or GNMAs.

CBOT introduces the U.S. Treasury bond futures contract; today the most actively traded contract in the world. Growth in trading of the contract necessitates more trading floor space.

As CBOT membership expands, construction begins on new 23-story addition to house new trading floor and additional office space.

On January 7 trading is suspended upon the CFTC's orders, after President Carter halts grain shipments to the Soviet Union. After a two-day suspension, trading resumes on January 9.

U.S. Treasury bond futures become most actively traded contract in the nation.

CBOT launches options on U.S. Treasury bond futures; the success of this contract opened the way for options on other financial futures contracts as well as agricultural futures contracts.

CBOT opens 32,000 square foot trading floor in building addition.

Futures contracts in crude oil and heating oil begin, completing the CBOT's energy complex.

On April 3, the Exchange celebrates its 135th anniversary.

Trading in agricultural futures-options begins as CBOT launches options on soybean futures.

CBOT evening trading session inaugurated for interest rate futures and options on futures.

Full membership trades for $550,000. CBOT markets remain open throughout October stock market crash. It is the only major exchange in the world to operate without interruption during the financial crisis.

The CBOT develops and launches a prototype of EOS, the exchange's electronic-order delivery system

CBOT sets new world trading volume at 154 million contracts.

Explosion in trading of financial instruments occurs, a total of 113 million contracts, or 75 percent of all contracts traded. Chicago River floods tunnel in the Loop, shutting down trading.

CBOT breaks its own world record set in 1990, setting a new world record at 219.5 million contracts traded.

Construction of a new, $175 million trading facility begins in December, and completion is scheduled for February 1997.

Full membership trades at $710,000, a new record high.

The CBOT agais makes world futures industry history as Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chairman Patrick H. Arbor and President Thomas R. Donovan break ground January 17, 1995, for the world's largest trading facility. The CBOT's $175 million structure will add 60,000 square feet to trading space for financial complex contracts.

CBOT launches its "MarketPlex", the first futures exchange to open a commercial service on the Internet which includes delayed quotes, end-of-day settlement prices, and historical price information on all exchange contracts.

CBOT sets another new world volume record, topping 220 million contracts.

CBOT begins trading its agricultural complex on Project A.

The CBOT expands its world-class financial risk-management lineup with the launch of its U.S. Treasury Yield Curve Spread futures and options on October 18.

On February 18, the world witnessnes the start of a new era in financial futures and options trading with the opening of CBOT's new financial trading floor. It is the world's largest trading facility.

The CBOT and the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange launch their open outcry linkage on May 9.

On October 6, CBOT embarks on a bold expansion into equities with the launch of the CBOT Dow Jones Industrial Average Index futures and futures-options contracts.

In January the CBOT rededicates itself to maximizing order execution and efficiency by expanding use of its electronic order routing system.

On April 3, the CBOT celebrates its 150th Anniversary as the world's leading futures and options exchange.

In April, the CBOT launched Agricultural Serial Options to provide market users greater flexibility and lower-cost products; a vastly superior alternative to agricultural trade options.

On September 2, the Board of Directors approves the recommendation that the exchange adopt a system that accomplishes "electronic open outcry," a first step toward a paperless open outcry trading environment.

Continuing its tradition as an innovator of new markets, the CBOT launches two electricity contracts on September 11, based on physical delivery of wholesale power into Commonwealth Edison and the Tennessee Valley Authority electricity systems.

To increase efficiency and make CBOT agricultural markets more global in customer reach, the CBOT transitions from bushels to contracts in 1998.

On September 28, the Board of Directors establishes side-by-side open outcry and electronic trading, providing trading opportunity for those members and firms who wished to trade on Project A (the CBOT's interactive computerized trading system) during the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures and futures-options contract celebrates its first anniversary in October. Trading volume during the first year totaled 3,567,512 contracts, the highest volume ever for a new CBOT contract.

Considerable focus is placed on developing an alliance with Eurex, the German Swiss all-electronic futures and options exchange based in Frankfurt, Germany. The Board of Directors vote on several occasions to pursue a final agreement with Eurex to enhance the CBOT's electronic trading system.

Breaking the world volume record for the third year in a row, CBOT volume rises to 281,189,436 contracts. It also is the CBOT's 25th record in the past 30 years and the fifth consecutive year that CBOT volume tops 200 million contracts; a feat unsurpassed by any other exchange in the world.

On January 26, 1999, the CBOT receives CFTC approval to trade PJM Western Hub Electricity futures and options and will launch all electricity contracts exclusively on Project A.

On January 19, the Board of Directors vote overwhelmingly to approve a demutualization plan which, upon membership and regulatory approval, would convert the CBOT into two distinct, for-profit businesses, and transform members into shareholders of those two companies.

CBOT members vote to discontinue the proposed CBOT-Eurex Alliance on January 27.

On February 22 the CBOT launches MemberNet, a members-only website, designed to provide a better method of communication with members.

On June 24, CBOT members vote to proceed with the CBOT-Eurex Alliance.

CBOT launches 10-Year Agency futures contracts

CBOT members approve the proposal to again consider forming an alliance with Eurex, the all-electronic German/Swiss derivatives exchange.

The CBOT ends 1999 with volume at 254,561,215 contracts the second highest yearly volume in the exchange's history and the sixth consecutive year that the CBOT surpasses 200 million contracts.

On January 1, the CBOT successfully transitions to Y2K.

On April 18, Dennis Dutterer in named Interim President and CEO of the CBOT after Thomas R. Donovan resigns.

On May 16 the CBOT's Board of Directors approve the implementation of Step One of the restructuring, which involved the reincorporation of the CBOT in Delaware as a Delaware non-stock, not-for-profit corporation. The Board also approves and adoptes the overall restructuring strategy.

In June 2000, members overwhelmingly approve the CBOT-Eurex Alliance.

On August 9, the CBOT is reincorporated in Delaware as a Delaware not-for-profit, nonstock corporation.

On August 28, the CBOT and Eurex successfully launched 'a/c/e alliance/cbot/eurex' an electronic trading platform that replaced Project A.

On August 31 the CBOT's Board of Directors o revise the restructuring strategy. e-CBOT (Electronic Chicago Board of Trade) will remain a wholly-owned subsidiary of the open-outcry company, and will not be a separate company as was previously contemplated.

On October 12, the CBOT membership voted to reduce the size of the Board of Directors from 27 to 18.

On December 6, Nickolas J. Neubauer was elected Chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade

On January 15 Interim President and CEO Dennis Dutterer returns to his post as President and CEO of the Board of Trade Clearing Corporation (BOTCC)

David J. Vitale assumes the position of President and CEO of the Chicago Board of Trade on March 1, 2001.

CBOT launches Mortgage-backed futures on March 23 (open outcry) and March 25 on the a/c/e platform.

On May 14 the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (CME) signed a letter of intent to create a joint venture to introduce single-stock futures, following approval by the boards of directors of both exchanges. The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) has also agreed to participate in the joint venture with a limited stake.

On September 11, 2001, Chicago's four financial Exchanges jointly annouced that their markets will be closed on Wednesday, September 12 in recognition of the tragic events of September 11.

CBOT launches 10-Year Interest Rate Swap futures on October 26, 2001

On November 16, 2001, the CBOT launches DJ-AIG Index futures contracts.

CBOT ends 2001 with the second-highest volume total in exchange history trading 260,333,070 contracts


Jan. 8, CBOT renews contract with Dow Jones to list Dow Jones Complex for trading

March 26, CBOT, Environmental Protection Agency conduct 10th annual SO2 emission allowance auction

March 28, CBOT members reelect Charles P. Carey as exchange Vice Chairman, elect five Directors to the CBOT Board

April 5, CBOT $5.00 mini-sized electronic Dow contract futures launched

April 30, OneChicago, LLC, The Options Clearing Corporation and Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. announce they signed official Clearing House agreements for security futures

May 22, The CBOT announced that, following extensive consultation with market professionals, it has decided to re-engineer its Municipal Bond Index contract to better reflect changes in the marketplace.

June 21, CBOT launches 5-Year Interest Rate Swap futures

July 24, CBOT electronic trading platform volume at 1,095,696 contracts tops one million contracts for the first time

Aug. 1, CBOT's Paramedic Unit marks its 25th anniversary; it is the first major financial institution to establish an enhanced basic life support service

Aug. 22, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley rings opening bell in celebration of CBOT Treasury Bond futures 25-year anniversary

Sept. 11, CBOT members, staff honor the memory of 9-11-01 victims and heroes; exchange halts trading in two periods of silent remembrance

Oct. 25, 10-Year Municipal Note Index futures launched

Nov. 8, 10-Year and 5-Year Interest Rate Swap futures-options launched

Nov. 8, The OneChicago joint venture exchange was launched successfully with trade of more than 3,000 contracts (more than 300,000 shares of common stock)

Dec. 17, Agreement with eSpeed offers electronic cash and futures markets through the system eSpeed system, providing customers the ability to trade cash and futures in one neutral, fully electronic, real-time marketplace

Dec. 31, CBOT completes a record volume year with total trade at 343,882,529 contracts


The Chicago Board of Trade launches mini-sized Agricultural futures contracts on April 7, 2003.

Charlie P. Carey was elected Chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade on March 12, 2003

On April 16, theChicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc.(CME) and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) announced that they signed a definitive agreement for CME? to provide clearing and related services for all CBOT products.  Under the CME/CBOT Common Clearing Link, clearing services are expected to begin, pending regulatory approval, on Jan. 2, 2004.