240 BC: Halley's
Comet first recorded sighting

Chinese astronomers reported a broom-shaped “star” in the sky, which is now recorded as the first perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.

1858: Pencil with
eraser patented

Hyman L Lipman of Philadelphia, United States, received a patent for a pencil with
an attached eraser.

1867: US buys
Alaska from Russia

William H Seward, US secretary of state under the Andrew Johnson administration, signed the Alaska Purchase, buying the state for $7.2 million.

1949: Indian state
of Rajasthan formed

The state of Rajasthan was established and Jaipur was made its capital. The day is celebrated as Rajasthan Day.

1981: US President Reagan’s assassination attempt

John W Hinckley shot and wounded US President Ronald Reagan barely two months after the latter took office.