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This Day in History: January 7


1608 – Fire destroys Jamestown, Virginia.

1782 – The first American commercial bank, the Bank of North America, opens.

1920 – The New York State Assembly refuses to seat five duly elected Socialist assemblymen.

1927 – The first transatlantic telephone service is established from New York, New York to London, United Kingdom.

1927 – The Harlem Globetrotters play their first ever road game in Hinckley, Illinois.

1942 – World War II: The siege of the Bataan Peninsula begins.

1945 – World War II: British General Bernard Montgomery holds a press conference in which he claims credit for victory in the Battle of the Bulge.

1948 – Kentucky Air National Guard pilot Thomas Mantell crashes while in pursuit of a supposed UFO.

1954 – Georgetown-IBM experiment: The first public demonstration of a machine translation system, is held in New York at the head office of IBM.

1955 – Contralto Marian Anderson becomes the first person of color to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera.

1959 – The United States recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro.

1960 – The Polaris missile is test launched.

1968 – Surveyor Program: Surveyor 7, the last spacecraft in the Surveyor series, lifts off from launch complex 36A, Cape Canaveral.

1973 – Mark Essex fatally shoots ten people and wounds 13 others at Howard Johnson's Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana, before being shot to death by police officers.

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter authorizes legislation giving $1.5 billion in loans to bail out the Chrysler Corporation.

1999 – The Senate trial in the impeachment of U.S. President Bill Clinton begins.


1800 – Millard Fillmore, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 13th President of the United States (d. 1874)

1856 – Charles Harold Davis, American painter and academic (d. 1933)

1873 – Adolph Zukor, Hungarian-American film producer, co-founded Paramount Pictures (d. 1976)

1888 – Vera de Bosset, Russian-American ballerina (d. 1982)

1891 – Zora Neale Hurston, American anthropologist and author (d. 1960)

1910 – Orval Faubus, American soldier and politician, 36th Governor of Arkansas (d. 1994)

1912 – Charles Addams, American cartoonist, created The Addams Family (d. 1988)

1946 – Jann Wenner, American publisher, co-founded Rolling Stone

1957 – Katie Couric, American television journalist, anchor, and author


1658 – Theophilus Eaton, American farmer and politician, 1st Governor of the New Haven Colony (b. 1590)

1812 – Joseph Dennie, American journalist and author (b. 1768)

1919 – Henry Ware Eliot American businessman and philanthropist, co-founded Washington University in St. Louis (b. 1843)

1944 – Lou Henry Hoover, American wife of Herbert Hoover, 33rd First Lady of the United States (b. 1874)