Today in 1858, Hymen Lipman of Philadelphia patented the pencil with an attached eraser. For the record? The average pencil can write a continuous line 35-miles long.
Today in 1867, the United States bought Alaska from Russia for $7.2-million, basically two cents per acre of land.
Today in 1976, the Supreme Court upheld a Virginia ruling which outlawed homosexual activity between consenting adults, even in the privacy of their own homes. Many have called it the worst decision ever made – and SCOTUS agreed – overturning that ruling in 2003.
Today in 1981, President Ronald Reagan and three others were shot and wounded outside the Washington Hilton Hotel by John Hinckley, Jr. While no one was killed, White House news secretary James Brady was seriously wounded when a bullet struck him in the head. It was later revealed that Hinckley committed the crime in an effort to impress actress Jodie Foster. He was later not found not guilty by reason of insanity and remains in a psychiatric facility. In December 2013, a court ordered that he be allowed to visit his mother. He is permitted up to eight 17-day visits, with evaluation after the completion of each one.
Today in 1982, Columbia space shuttle completed its third and longest test flight after eight days in space.
Today in 1983, basketball star Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics set a regular season scoring record with 53 points. The record stayed intact until 1985, when Bird broke his own record with a 60-point performance on March 12th.
Today in 1993, Charlie Brown hit his first home run in the “Peanuts” comic strip.
Today in 2010, President Obama opened the offshore drilling projects along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska for oil and natural gas drilling.
Today in 2012 Mastercard and Visa announced a massive breach in security with over ten-million compromised credit card numbers.
Today in 2017, North Carolina repealed its controversial bathroom law, which restricted transgender use.