On this day in 1767 Charles Mason(not Manson) and Jeremiah Dixon completed their survey line that marked the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania. The two were regarded as amongst the best in their profession in the world and were chosen to put to rest the long disputed border between the states. Unintentionally they created the border between slave and free states before the colonies could unite into a nation. Everything below that line stood for slavery, including Washington D.C. Everything north of it was for emancipation.
On this day in 1897 Secretary of State William Seward purchased the territory of Alaska from Russia for $7,000,000. This was to be known as "Seward's folly" for many years and erase the sympathy he had gained for surviving the plot to overthrow the government that had killed president Lincoln. Seward was stabbed that night, but had returned to his post as Secretary of State just in time make the purchase. When oil reserves were discovered there in the next century people began to stop laughing. They started laughing again when they heard Sarah Palin talk.
On this day in 1988 the sitcom Roseanne made its prime time debut on ABC. Portraying the daily life of the working class Connor family in industrial Ohio, the series quickly gained popularity. Roseanne Barr was the matriarch of the family, and used her crude, abrasive humor to give a realistic feel to her character. John Goodman played Dan Connor, the larger than life father whose good natured mannerisms were cohesive to the traits of his tv wife. The show would go on for 10 seasons and is still one of the most popular sitcoms in US history.