NYSE Bell ringing

Every day on the news when they show the rise/fall of NASDAQ, they cut to a bunch of people ringing the ending bell at the NYSE. 1) Who are these people, they always seem to be different except for what/who looks like Alan Greenspan.
2)Have they always rung the bell at the end of the day?
3) Is there a symbolism to the bell ringing?

Bigamy is having one wife to many. Monogamy is the same. - Oscar Wilde

  1. Various NYSE officials. I believe that special guests of the exchange (various VIPs) are also given the honor of ringing the bell as part of their visit. Greenspan would fall into the latter category; he’s too busy to be there routinely, and his job has no direct connection with the NYSE.

  2. I believe so. Or, at least, they’ve been doing it for a very long time (maybe when the NYSE was an open air market, something else was ued).

  3. Not really. You have hundreds of people shouting out orders and making deals, so you need something loud to tell them time is up.