September 18, 2020, 4:00 AM
5 min read
Today in History
Today is Friday, Sept. 18, the 262nd day of 2020. There are 104 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 18, 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which created a force of federal commissioners charged with returning escaped slaves to their owners.
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 1927, the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System (later CBS) made its on-air debut with a basic network of 16 radio stations.
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 1965, the situation comedies “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Get Smart” premiered on NBC.
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 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.)
In 2014, 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.
Ten years ago: Despite Taliban rocket strikes and bombings, Afghans voted for a new parliament in the first election since a fraud-marred ballot cast doubt on the legitimacy of the embattled government. During his visit to Britain, Pope Benedict XVI apologized to five people who’d been molested by priests as children in his latest effort to defuse the sex abuse crisis shaking the Roman Catholic Church.
Five years ago: The Environmental Protection Agency said Volkswagen had intentionally skirted clean air laws by using software that enabled about 500,000 of its diesel cars to emit fewer smog-causing pollutants during testing than in real-world driving conditions; the EPA ordered VW to fix the cars at its own expense. President Barack Obama announced he would nominate longtime Pentagon official Eric Fanning to be the Army’s new secretary; Fanning became the nation’s first openly gay leader of a military service.
One year ago: President Donald Trump named Robert O’Brien, his chief hostage negotiator, as his new national security adviser; O’Brien became the fourth person in two years to hold the job. President Donald Trump said his administration was revoking California’s authority to set auto mileage standards stricter than those issued by federal regulators; the state challenged the decision in court. Figures released by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, showed that the number and rate of abortions across the United States had plunged to their lowest levels since the procedure became legal nationwide in 1973.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Jimmie Rodgers is 87. Actor Robert Blake is 87. Gospel singer Bobby Jones is 82. Singer Frankie Avalon is 80. Actor Beth Grant is 71. Rock musician Kerry Livgren is 71. Actor Anna Deavere Smith is 70. The U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, is 69. Basketball Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino is 68. College Football Hall of Famer and retired NFL player Billy Sims is 65. Movie director Mark Romanek is 61. Baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is 61. Alt-country-rock musician Mark Olson is 59. Singer Joanne Catherall (Human League) is 58. Actor Holly Robinson Peete is 56. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ricky Bell (Bell Biv Devoe and New Edition) is 53. Actor Aisha Tyler is 50. Former racing cyclist Lance Armstrong is 49. Opera singer Anna Netrebko is 49. Actor Jada Pinkett Smith is 49. Actor James Marsden is 47. Actor Emily Rutherfurd is 46. Actor Travis Schuldt is 46. Rapper Xzibit is 46. Comedian-actor Jason Sudeikis is 45. Actor Sophina Brown is 44. Actor Barrett Foa is 43. Talk show host Sara Haines (TV: “GMA3: Strahan, Sara & Keke”) is 43. Actor/comedian Billy Eichner is 42. Actor Alison Lohman is 41. Designer Brandon Maxwell is 36. Congressman and former NFL player Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, is 36. Actors Brandon and Taylor Porter are 27. Actor Patrick Schwarzenegger is 27. Country singer Tae Dye (Maddie and Tae) is 25. Actor C.J. Sanders is 24.