Today is Tuesday, Sept. 18, the 262nd day of 2012 with 104 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Venus, Jupiter and Uranus. Evening stars are Mercury, Neptune, Saturn and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include English poet and lexicographer Samuel Johnson, writer of the first English dictionary, in 1709; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story in 1779; French physicist Jean Foucault, inventor of the gyroscope, in 1819; choreographer Agnes de Mille in 1905; actors Greta Garbo in 1905, Leon Askin in 1907; Jack Warden in 1920 and Robert Blake in 1933 (age 79); film producer Bud Greenspan in 1926; singer/actor Frankie Avalon and comedian Fred Willard, both in 1939 (age 73); rock 'n' roll Hall of fame member Dee Dee Ramone in 1951; basketball coach Rick Pitino in 1952 (age 60); baseball Hall of Fame member Ryne Sandberg in 1959 (age 53); actor Holly Robinson Peete in 1964 (age 48); actor Jada Pinkett Smith and cyclist Lance Armstrong, both in 1971 (age 41).
On this date in history:
In 1850, the U.S. Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, allowing slave owners to reclaim slaves who escaped into another state.
In 1851 The New York Daily Times published its first issue.
In 1927, the Columbia Broadcasting System was born. Originally known as the Tiffany Network, its first program was an opera, "The King's Henchman."
In 1928, a hurricane that lashed Florida and the West Indies for five days left an estimated 4,000 people dead and $30 million in damage.
In 1961, U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold died when his plane crashed under mysterious circumstances near Ndola in Northern Rhodesia.
In 1970, rock star Jimi Hendrix died at the age of 27 following a drug overdose in London.
In 1983, British adventurer George Meegan finished a 19,021-mile, 6-year walk from the tip of South America to the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.
In 1991, U.S. President George H.W. Bush authorized U.S. warplanes to fly into Iraq to protect U.N. inspectors.
In 1996, the shuttle Atlantis docked with the Mir space station to pick up U.S. astronaut Shannon Lucid, who had set a U.S. record for time spent in space.
In 2001, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Arial Sharon of Israel both ordered a halt of offensive actions and Israeli troops and tanks began pulling out of the areas around Jericho and Jenin.
In 2003, Hurricane Isabel slammed into the North Carolina coast, causing a reported 40 deaths and inflicting property damage estimated at $5 billion.
In 2004, the U.N. Security Council called for Sudan to put an end to the killings in the Darfur region where an estimated 50,000 people died in militia raids over 18 months.
In 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the United Nations his country wouldn't back down on its "right to pursue peaceful nuclear energy."
And in 2005, Afghanistan had its first free election in 25 years, drawing millions of voters despite Taliban threats.
In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in approving a civil rights bill that broadens the definition of disability to include epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses.
Also in 2008, the U.S. Federal Reserve expanded swap lines to allow banks to borrow at lower rates. The Fed authorized an additional $110 billion for European banks, $60 billion for the Bank of Japan and $10 billion for the Bank of Canada.
In 2009, the final episode of "The Guiding Light" was broadcast. The soap opera had run on radio and television for 72 years.
In 2010, violence and threats of violence during Afghanistan's parliamentary elections kept 60 percent of eligible voters away from the polls and left at least 14 people dead. A total of 2,514 candidates vied for seats in the 249-member Parliament.
In 2011, Pakistani officials raised the death toll in the outbreak of dengue fever to 32. The official number of cases was set at 6,147 with the vast majority in Lahore.
Also in 2011, a reported 700 searchers pitched in to look for survivors and more bodies in northwestern China where a wall of mud and rocks slid down a mountainside and slammed into two factories. At least nine people were known dead but about one dozen others were missing.
A thought for the day: American reformer Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, "The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation."