This Week in History: January 5-11

Featured Article, History, This Week in History
on January 5, 2014
Nellie Taylor Ross became America’s first female governor in 1925.

This week in history, America was graced by its first commercial bank and by the birth of the man who gave that bank importance in the government. The Bank of North America was formed this week in 1782. America’s first Secretary of the Treasury and architect of the National Bank, Alexander Hamilton was born this week as well. Find out what else happened by reading below:

January 5:
America’s First Female Governor
After the death of her husband, Wyoming governor William Ross, Nellie Taylor Ross won a special election for the state’s highest office. Ross became America’s first female governor on this day, her inauguration, in 1925. She remains Wyoming’s only female governor. She staunchly supported prohibition and continued her husband’s policies on taxes, banking, work regulations and women and children workers. Ross lost the 1926 gubernatorial election. She directed the U.S. Mint from 1933-1953.

January 6:
franklin-d-roosevelt-four-freedomsFour Freedoms
Americans had nothing to fear on this day in 1941 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined his famous “Four Freedoms” during the State of the Union address. These freedoms, “Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear,” were things Roosevelt thought fundamental to people around the world. The Freedoms reaffirmed core American tenets and provided comfort to the worried public as Europe was embroiled in World War II.

January 7:
First commercial bank in the U.S.
U.S. citizens no longer had to store their money under the mattress on this day in 1782 with the opening of the nation’s first commercial bank. The Bank of North America began operations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, shortly after receiving its official permission to charter. The bank helped the country in the wake of the Revolutionary War and throughout the War of 1812 with its savvy business practices. The bank merged and changed hands through the years and eventually became Wachovia Bank.

January 8:
bellsouth-antitrust-attAT&T Divestiture:
In the largest antitrust case since the breakup of Standard Oil, AT&T relinquished control of Bell Operating Companies on this day in 1982, effectively ending its monopoly on telecommunications in the U.S. AT&T had owned Bell, which provided local telephone service for much of the country; in many regions AT&T was the only provider. The divestiture made it so that the Bell companies would be split into individual companies not supplied with materials from AT&T’s subsidiary, Western Electric. After the divestiture, AT&T’s value decreased by about 70 percent.

January 9:
Battle of Bear Valley
The last engagement between U.S. military personnel and Native American warriors took place on this day in 1918, marking the last battle in the American Indian Wars. The Battle of Bear Valley took place near the Mexican border in Arizona. A regiment of cavalrymen engaged a band of about 30 Yaqui warriors. The U.S. won, killing one and capturing nine Yaqui.

January 10:
Thomas-Paine“Common Sense” Published
Americans got some sense into their heads on this day in 1776 with the publication of Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense.” The pamphlet was an instant success, selling more than any other book at that time in American history. Paine signed his work “Written by an Englishman.” He presented a persuasive case for breaking from the English monarchy.

January 11:
Alexander Hamilton Birthday
The nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, was born on this day in 1755. Hamilton helped frame and interpret the Constitution, being one of the authors of the “Federalist Papers.” Hamilton was active in politics and worked to establish a National Bank and regulate tariffs. Hamilton affected John Adams’ cabinet selection and influenced the election of Thomas Jefferson. After a dispute over the New York governorship, Aaron Burr challenged Hamilton to duel in which Burr mortally wounded Hamilton who died days later on July 12, 1804.