History of the Day for:
- 1822: Florida became a United States territory.
- 1842: The first surgery using an anesthetic was carried out by Dr. Crawford Long of Jefferson, Ga.
- 1858: Hyman L. Lipman patented the pencil with an attached eraser.
- 1867: In a deal known as "Seward's Folly," U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward negotiated the acquisition of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, about 2 cents an acre.
- 1870: The 15th amendment to the Constitution, giving black men the right to vote, went in effect; Texas was readmitted to the Union.
- 1909: The Queensboro Bridge, linking the boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, opened in New York.
- 1923: The Audubon Ballroom in New York City was the scene of the first dance marathon.
- 1939: The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph.
- 1939: First flight of the Australian C.A.C. CA-16 Wirraway.
- 1940: Sino-Japanese War: Japan declares Nanking to be the capital of a new Chinese puppet government, nominally controlled by Wang Ching-wei.
- 1945: World War II: Soviet Union forces invade Austria and take Vienna; Polish and Soviet forces liberate Gdansk.
- 1945: World War II: a defecting German pilot delivers a Messerschmitt Me 262A-1 to the Americans.
- 1964: "Jeopardy" debuted on NBC.
- 1981: President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest by would-be assassin John Hinckley outisde a Washington hotel. Also wounded were White House press secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent and a District of Columbia police officer.
- 1987: "Sunflowers" by Vincent van Gogh was sold at auction in London for $39.7 million, more than triple the record for an auctioned painting.
- 2006: The United Kingdom Terrorism Act 2006 becomes law.