Today in History 9/18/19

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 18, the 261st day of 2019. There are 104 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 18, 1793, President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol.

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On this date:

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

In 1940, Harper and Brothers published “You Can’t Go Home Again” by Thomas Wolfe, two years after the author’s death.

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 was killed in a plane crash in northern Rhodesia.

In 1964, the situation comedy “The Addams Family,” inspired by the Charles Addams cartoons, premiered on ABC-TV.

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

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

In 1990, the organized crime drama “GoodFellas,” directed by Martin Scorsese, had its U.S. premiere in New York.

In 1994, tennis star Vitas Gerulaitis, 40, was found dead in the guest cottage of a friend’s home in Southampton, N.Y., 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: Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in defiance of Iran’s Islamic leadership, clashing with police and confronting state-run anti-Israel rallies. Writer-editor Irving Kristol, known as the godfather of neoconservatism, died at 89. The final episode of “Guiding Light” aired on CBS, ending a 72-year run on radio and television.

Five years ago: In a show of solidarity with Ukraine, President Barack Obama welcomed the new president of the embattled former Soviet republic, Petro Poroshenko, to the White House. Congress cleared the way for the U.S. military to train and equip Syrian rebels for a war against Islamic Group militants. Home Depot said a data breach that lasted for months at its stores in the U.S. and Canada had affected 56 million debit and credit cards. Voters in Scotland rejected independence, opting to remain part of the United Kingdom in a historic referendum. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews, Scotland, ended years of male-only exclusivity as its members voted overwhelmingly in favor of inviting women to join.

One year ago: The death toll from Hurricane Florence rose to at least 37 in three states; the victims include two female detainees being taken to a mental health facility in a van that was overtaken by water in South Carolina. China announced tax increases on $60 billion worth of U.S. imports, a day after the U.S. announcement of new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese-made goods. Russia said a Russian reconnaissance aircraft was shot down by a Syrian missile over the Mediterranean Sea, killing all 15 people on board; the Russians blamed Israel, saying the plane was caught in the crossfire as four Israeli fighters attacked targets in Syria.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Jimmie Rodgers is 86. Actor Robert Blake is 86. Actor Fred Willard is 86. Gospel singer Bobby Jones is 81. Singer Frankie Avalon is 79. Actress Beth Grant is 70. Rock musician Kerry Livgren is 70. Actress Anna Deavere Smith is 69. The U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, is 68. Basketball Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino is 67. College Football Hall of Famer and retired NFL player Billy Sims is 64. Movie director Mark Romanek is 60. Baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is 60. Alt-country-rock musician Mark Olson is 58. Singer Joanne Catherall (Human League) is 57. Actress Holly Robinson Peete is 55. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ricky Bell (Bell Biv Devoe and New Edition) is 52. Actress Aisha Tyler is 49. Former racing cyclist Lance Armstrong is 48. Opera singer Anna Netrebko is 48. Actress Jada Pinkett Smith is 48. Actor James Marsden is 46. Actress Emily Rutherfurd is 45. Actor Travis Schuldt is 45. Rapper Xzibit is 45. Comedian-actor Jason Sudeikis is 44. Actress Sophina Brown is 43. Actor Barrett Foa is 42. Talk show host Sara Haines (TV: “GMA3: Strahan, Sara & Keke”) is 42. Actor/comedian Billy Eichner is 41. Actress Alison Lohman is 40. Designer Brandon Maxwell is 35. Congressman and former NFL player Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, is 35. Actors Brandon and Taylor Porter are 26. Actor Patrick Schwarzenegger is 26. Country singer Tae Dye (Maddie and Tae) is 24. Actor C.J. Sanders is 23.

Thought for Today: “Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.” — From “You Can’t Go Home Again” by Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938).