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Friday, September 18, 2009

This day in history

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[September 18, 2009]  (AP)  Today is Friday, Sept. 18, the 261st day of 2009. There are 104 days left in the year. The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, begins at sunset.

Today's highlight in history:

On Sept. 18, 1709 (New Style date), author, critic, lexicographer and wit Samuel Johnson was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England.

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 1810, Chile made its initial declaration of independence from Spain.

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

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, went into effect.

In 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev continued his visit to New York with visits to 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 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.

Ten years ago: A multinational fleet sailed toward East Timor, the vanguard of a U.N.-approved force assigned to bring order to the bloodied Indonesian province. Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs became the first player in major league baseball history to reach 60 homers twice. Heather Renee French of Kentucky was crowned Miss America at the pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.

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Nursing Homes

Five years ago: A divided U.N. Security Council approved a resolution threatening oil sanctions against Sudan unless the government reined in Arab militias blamed for a killing rampage in Darfur. Hollywood divorce lawyer Marvin Mitchelson died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 76. Pioneer adult filmmaker Russ Meyer died in Los Angeles at age 82. Miss Alabama Deidre Downs was crowned Miss America. Pop singer Britney Spears married her fiance, dancer Kevin Federline, in a surprise ceremony. (The couple divorced in 2007.)

One year 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.

Today's birthdays: Singer Jimmie Rodgers is 76. Actor Robert Blake is 76. Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, is 76. Actor Fred Willard is 70. Singer Frankie Avalon is 69. Rock musician Kerry Livgren is 60. Actress Anna Deavere Smith is 59. Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino is 57. College Football Hall of Famer and retired NFL player Billy Sims is 54. Movie director Mark Romanek is 50. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ryne Sandberg is 50. Actor James Gandolfini is 48. Alt-country-rock musician Mark Olson is 48. Singer Joanne Catherall (Human League) is 47. Actress Holly Robinson Peete is 45. R&B singer Ricky Bell (Bell Biv Devoe and New Edition) is 42. Actress Aisha Tyler is 39. Cycling champion Lance Armstrong is 38. Opera singer Anna Netrebko is 38. Actress Jada Pinkett Smith is 38. Actor James Marsden is 36. Actress Emily Rutherfurd is 35. Actor Travis Schuldt ("Scrubs") is 35. Rapper Xzibit is 35. Comedian-actor Jason Sudeikis ("Saturday Night Live") is 34. Actress Sophina Brown is 33. Actress Alison Lohman is 30. Actors Brandon and Taylor Porter are 16. Actor C.J. Sanders ("Ray") is 13.

Thought for today: "Don't think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark." -- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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