This Day in History
January 7: Mantell UFO Incident, the Senate Trial on Bill Clinton’s Impeachment Begins, and Other Events of the Date
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January 7: Mantell UFO Incident, the Senate Trial on Bill Clinton’s Impeachment Begins, and Other Events of the Date


A number of important events have taken place on January 7 in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.

1782 – The opening of the first American commercial bank

America is the country of banks, speculation, and interests. The U.S. economy has always made profit on wars (especially on those where the American army has been involved), so it’s no wonder the first American commercial bank, Bank of North America, was opened even before the last cannons made their last shots in the American Revolutionary War.

The President, Directors, and Company, of the Bank of North America, commonly known simply as the Bank of North America, was a private bank first adopted on May 26, 1781 by the Confederation Congress, chartered on December 31, 1781 and opened in Philadelphia on January 7, 1782. Interestingly, it was based upon a plan presented by US Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris on May 17, 1781 that actually created the nation's first de facto central bank.

When shares in the bank were sold to the public, the Bank of North America became the country's first initial public offering and was later succeeded in its role as central bank by the First Bank of the United States in 1791. The bank went defunct back in 1929 though, with its closest “relative” todya being Wells Fargo.

1948 – Mantell UFO Incident

The period right after the Second World War was rich with UFO encounters all across the U.S. Unfortunately, sometimes these encounters brought nothing good for those that discovered “the aliens.” One of the most famous such episodes was the Mantell UFO Incident that took place in Kentucky on January 7, 1948.

On that day, Captain Thomas F. Mantell, a Kentucky Air National Guard pilot, died when his F-51 Mustang fighter crashed after being sent in pursuit of an unidentified flying object (UFO). Mysterious and controversial, the event was among the most publicized early UFO incidents.

A later investigation by the United States Air Force's Project Blue Book however, said nothing of aliens but indicated that Mantell may have died chasing a Skyhook balloon, which in 1948 was a top-secret project that Mantell would not have known about.

According to this story, Mantell pursued the object in a steep climb, and disregarded suggestions to level his altitude. He blacked out from a lack of oxygen at the high altitutde. His relative inexperience with the F-51 may have been a contributing factor. The whole truth behind this story remains unknown, so anything is possible. Who knows what actually happened on this date in the skies over Kentucky?

1999 - The Senate trial on Bill Clinton’s impeachment begins

It’s hard to believe that Bill Clinton’s impeachment and all the scandals surrounding it “celebrate” their 20th anniversary today, but they do. The Senate trial on Clinton’s impeachment process began on this date in 1999, with Chief Justice William Regnquist presiding. The first day consisted of the formal presentation of the charges against Clinton and Rehnquist swearing in all arguants in the trial.

Thirteen House Republicans from the Judiciary Committee served as "managers,” the equivalent of prosecutors: Chairman Henry Hyde of Illinois, Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, Bill McCollum of Florida, George Gekas of Pennsylvania, Charles Canady of Florida, Steve Buyer of Indiana, Ed Bryant of Tennessee, Steve Chabot of Ohio, Bob Barr of Georgia, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Chris Cannon of Utah, James E. Rogan of California, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

The senators were to decide the destiny of the U.S. President, and next time you hear #metoo screams from the Democratic side, remember all 45 Democrats in the Senate voted "not guilty" on both charges against Democratic President Bill Clinton back in 1999, which eventually helped him avoid conviction. 

These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on January 7, at least in our view.

Author: USA Really