When did JCPenney become publicly traded?
Worldwide, according to a source at Bloomberg LP (which provides news on publicly-trade companies to the financial sector), there are about 63000 publicly-traded companies. There are roughly 15000 publicly traded companies in the US, of which about 1/3 are traded on exchanges and the other 2/3 traded in various over-the-counter markets.
While trying to answer a similar question ("Are any pro sports teams publicly traded?") and I found this link. It's from 2006, but it makes this point: Currently however, there are no professional teams which are purely publicly traded companies. The whole article is here http://iblsjournal.typepad.com/illinois_business_law_soc/2006/10/professional_sp.html