Today in History

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 18, the 261st day of 2018. There are 104 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 18, 1975, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was captured by the FBI in San Francisco, 19 months after being kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

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On this date:

In 1759, the French formally surrendered Quebec to the British.

In 1793, President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol.

In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which created a force of federal commissioners charged with returning escaped slaves to their owners.

In 1851, the first edition of The New York Times was published.

In 1947, the National Security Act, which created a National Military Establishment and the position of Secretary of Defense, went into effect.

In 1959, during his U.S. tour, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev visited Wall Street, the Empire State Building and the grave of President Franklin D. Roosevelt; in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Khrushchev called on all countries to disarm.

In 1961, United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold (dahg HAWM’-ahr-shoold) was killed in a plane crash in northern Rhodesia.

In 1970, rock star Jimi Hendrix died in London at age 27.

In 1987, the psychological thriller “Fatal Attraction,” starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, was released by Paramount Pictures.

In 1994, tennis star Vitas Gerulaitis, 40, was found dead in the guest cottage of a friend’s home in Southampton, New York, of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

In 2001, a week after the Sept. 11 attack, President George W. Bush said he hoped to “rally the world” in the battle against terrorism and predicted that all “people who love freedom” would join. Letters postmarked Trenton, N.J., that later tested positive for anthrax were sent to the New York Post and NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw.

In 2007, O.J. Simpson was charged with seven felonies, including kidnapping, in the alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors in a Las Vegas casino-hotel room. (Simpson, sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison, was released on parole in October 2017.)

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush told the country his administration was working feverishly to calm turmoil in the financial markets. The president met with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who then asked Congress to give the government power to rescue banks by buying up their bad assets. Stocks on Wall Street shot up more than 400 points on word a plan was in the works.

Five years ago: Syrian President Bashar Assad, in a Fox News Channel interview, said a United Nations report finding “clear and convincing evidence” sarin nerve gas was used in Syria painted an “unrealistic” account, and denied his government had orchestrated the attack. Former heavyweight boxing champion Ken Norton, 70, died in Las Vegas.

One year ago: Hurricane Maria intensified into a dangerous Category 5 storm, surging into the eastern Caribbean on a path that would take it near many of the islands recently devastated by Hurricane Irma. Toys R Us, the pioneering big box toy retailer, announced that it was filing for bankruptcy protection, but that it would continue its normal business operations. (The company announced in March of 2018 that it would be liquidating its U.S. business.)

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Jimmie Rodgers is 85. Actor Robert Blake is 85. Actor Fred Willard is 85. Actor Eddie Jones is 84. Gospel singer Bobby Jones is 80. Singer Frankie Avalon is 78. Actress Beth Grant is 69. Rock musician Kerry Livgren is 69. Actress Anna Deavere Smith is 68. The U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, is 67. Basketball Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino is 66. College Football Hall of Famer and retired NFL player Billy Sims is 63. Movie director Mark Romanek is 59. Baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is 59. Alt-country-rock musician Mark Olson is 57. Singer Joanne Catherall (Human League) is 56. Actress Holly Robinson Peete is 54. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ricky Bell (Bell Biv Devoe and New Edition) is 51. Actress Aisha Tyler is 48. Former racing cyclist Lance Armstrong is 47. Opera singer Anna Netrebko is 47. Actress Jada Pinkett Smith is 47. Actor James Marsden is 45. Actress Emily Rutherfurd is 44. Actor Travis Schuldt is 44. Rapper Xzibit is 44. Comedian-actor Jason Sudeikis is 43. Actress Sophina Brown is 42. Actor Barrett Foa is 41. Talk show co-host Sara Haines (TV: “Good Morning America”) is 41. Actress Alison Lohman is 39. Designer Brandon Maxwell is 34. Actors Brandon and Taylor Porter are 25. Actor Patrick Schwarzenegger is 25. Country singer Tae Dye (Maddie and Tae) is 23. Actor C.J. Sanders is 22.