Facts Matter: Stock exchange didn't open day after 9/11

During campaign stops immediately following the massacre of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Oct. 27, President Donald Trump said he considered canceling the events but that the New York Stock Exchange opened the day after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

"We can't make these sick, demented, evil people important," Trump told the crowd in Murphysboro, Illinois.

However, during those stops, Trump twice referenced an event that did not happen, The Washington Post said.

The New York Stock Exchange, located blocks from the World Trade Center towers destroyed in the attack, were closed until Sept. 17, 2001, the Post said, the longest shutdown since 1933. It took a round-the-clock effort to reopen the Exchange and stock markets in other countries also closed.

Trump also implied during the Murphysboro stop that baseball resumed right after the attacks, the Post said.

"Remember the teams, the Yankees, George Steinbrenner," Trump said. "He said we have got to play, even if nobody comes, nobody shows up, we have got to play."

Major League Baseball games also were canceled, the Post said, resuming the day the Exchange opened.

Photo not of shooting victim

A social media post following the mass killing at a Pittsburgh synagogue contained a picture identified as shooting victim Rose Mallinger.

But the photo was not Mallinger, according to

Mallinger, 97, was the oldest victim of the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27, according to ABC news. She left behind three children, five grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

The post, by Twitter user Stone Cold who has 89,000 followers, misspelled Mallinger's name as Malinger, Snopes said. It was taken down after nearly 24 hours.

The photo in the tweet was of Ata Kando, a Hungarian-born photographer who died in 2017 at the age of 103, Snopes said. The man who took the photo of Kando, Dutch photographer Koos Breukel, took to Twitter to demand the photo be removed and he threatened to sue.

Ryan Graney, a spokeswoman for the family of a Sandy Hook shooting victim, told Snopes that she had reported the incorrect information to Twitter but did not receive a response.

"This is how conspiracy theories start," she said.

Package added to photo

A doctored photo recently circulating online shows CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter and his wife, Jamie, at home posing for a picture, with a pipe bomb package on the table next to them, according to The Associated Press.

The original photo was part of a Jan. 16 story by New York architecture news site 6sqft that featured the couple's Manhattan apartment.

Stelter said the image of the pipe bomb package, resembling those sent to prominent Democrats last month, was added to the photo, according to AP.

"This is despicable," Stelter told AP. "It was photoshopped."

CNN was among the high-profile targets to receive a pipe bomb in the mail. Former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and actor Robert De Niro also received similar packages. Cesar Sayoc, 56, is charged with sending the packages. None of the bombs exploded and no one was injured, the AP said.

No blue pumpkin for autism

One mother's Facebook post, stating her 21-year-old autistic son would be carrying a blue Halloween pumpkin bucket while trick-or-treating, was later mischaracterized as a symbol for autism, according to

But carrying a blue bucket on Halloween is not a widely recognized symbol for autism, Snopes said.

Facebook user Alicia Plumer on Oct. 25 posted an appeal for awareness as her son, BJ, would be trick-or-treating with a blue bucket, according to Snopes.

"While he has the body of a 21 year old, he loves Halloween," she said. "Please help us keep his spirit alive and happy."

The post went viral, creating the impression all autistic trick-or-treaters should carry a blue bucket, Snopes said. A news site in the United Kingdom reported that a blue pumpkin, whether used to gather candy or sitting on the porch, is used to symbolize autism.

According to Snopes, the blue bucket is not mentioned in Halloween guides from Autism Speaks or the Autism Society, who said they were unaware of the practice.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at

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