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Some of the planet’s biggest personalities, loudest voices, and quickest talkers are celebrated on National Auctioneers Day. It’s a time to remember that auctioneering is one of the world’s most ancient professions, having begun more than 2,000 years ago.

In fact, the very first auction was held about 500 B.C. in Babylon. The late 17th century saw the establishment of the world’s oldest, still-practicing auction house, Stockholms Auktionsverk.

America’s first president, one George Washington, was a big fan of scoring himself a hot deal via the mallet. Since the 1950s, the humble auction has expanded to include a plethora of financial institutions and marketplaces. These days, of course, there’s eBay.

To celebrate, many auctioneers spend the day working as volunteers, often in local communities. They’re seen running charity events, using their skills and time to fundraise. Some even hold auctions in which the auctioneers themselves are put up for sale.

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