Bank of North America Opens

On January 7, 1782, the Bank of North America was opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the first American commercial bank. This was a private bank  first adopted on May 26, 1781, by the Confederation Congress and chartered on December 31, 1781, a week prior to its official opening. It was based upon a plan presented by U.S. Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris on May 17, … Continue reading Bank of North America Opens

New Mexico’s State Flag

Today is the 106th anniversary of New Mexico Statehood. New Mexico (Nuevo México in Spanish or Yootó Hahoodzo in Navajo) was admitted to the United States as its 47th state on January 6, 1912, having been a Territory since September 9, 1850. Occupying 121,412 square miles (314,460 km²) of land in the southwest region of the U.S.A., it is often incorrectly believed to have taken its name from … Continue reading New Mexico’s State Flag

Construction Begins on the Golden Gate Bridge

Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in California on January 5, 1933. The suspension bridge would be completed on April 19, 1937, and opened on May 27, 1937, spanning the Golden Gate — a one-mile-wide (1.6 km) strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the city of San Francisco at the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County, carrying … Continue reading Construction Begins on the Golden Gate Bridge

James Cook and Alaska

On January 3, 1959, the huge Territory of Alaska was admitted to the United States as the nation’s 49th state. Last year, I wrote an overview of the history of the region illustrated by U.S. Scott #800, released in 1937 as part of a series commemorating territorial possessions. The only other Alaska-related stamp currently in my collection is a first day cover of Scott #1732, … Continue reading James Cook and Alaska

The Planet Vulcan, Pluto and New Horizons

On January 2, 1860, the discovery of the planet Vulcan was announced at a meeting of the Académie des Sciences in Paris by French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier. This announcement was based on observations made by physician and amateur astronomer Edmond Modeste Lescarbault, who claimed to have seen a transit of a previously-unknown planet in March of the previous year. Not to be confused with Spock’s home planet … Continue reading The Planet Vulcan, Pluto and New Horizons