On this date in 1822, Florida became a U.S. property. The 11-member council voted 23-1 to approve it. Yeah, they've always had trouble counting down there.

In 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Georgia, uses ether for the first time during a minor operation. But, because he kept falling asleep, the next time he only used it on the patient.

On this date in 1853, a patent was granted for the invention of a pencil with an attached eraser on the end.
Of course, for those of us who don't need erasers... they're useless.
You know, you always hear about #2 pencils. Whatever happened to #1?
It was actually written down as the date from the day before, but of course, he fixed it.
For a while, he erased everything he had written. Then he moved the erase to the other end of the pencil.
It was much safer than a kitchen knife with an eraser at the end, which injured a lot of mistake-prone people.
Of course, they had to work out the bugs. At first, it was at the same end as the lead point... and as soon as you wrote something, it was erased.

Truth be told, Irving Glickmount of Topanka, Minnesota, originally had the idea of attaching the eraser. Unfortunately, he attached it to the end of his gun. Needless to say, his first mistake was his last.

On this date in 1867, the U.S. agreed to buy Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. The deal was handled by Century 19 Real Estate.

In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving men the right to vote regardless of race. Yep, just men. Wow. Progressive.

On this date in 1950, the photo-transistor was invented. Finally, photos were able to listen to the radio!

In 1987, "Platoon" won four Academy Awards. Yep, the ceremony ran really long that year, too.


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