A Blast from the Past

By United Press International  |  Sept. 18, 2002 at 3:04 AM
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Today is Sept. 18.

It was on this date in 1975, 19 months after she was abducted from her apartment, that heiress Patricia Hearst was captured by FBI agents in San Francisco -- along with two of her Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) comrades, William and Emily Harris. Hearst, who had taken part in SLA terrorist activities as "Tanya," was convicted on bank robbery charges and spend some time in prison.

Also on this date, in 1990, S&L scandal figure Charles Keating was arrested.

Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act on this date in 1850, allowing slave owners to reclaim slaves who escaped into another state. The measure was part of Sen. Henry Clay's Compromise of 1850, which admitted California to the union as the 31st state, with slavery forbidden, and made Utah and New Mexico U.S. territories.

A U.S. delegation headed by former President Carter persuaded Haiti's military leaders on this date in 1994 to step aside in favor of the democratically elected president. They probably were highly motivated by the fact that U.S. troops were en route to the Caribbean nation.

British adventurer George Meegan finished a 19,021-mile, six-year walk from the tip of South America to the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, on this day in 1983. No record of the number of pairs of shoes Meegan went through during his journey.

The shuttle Atlantis docked with the Mir space station on this date in 1996 to pick up U.S. astronaut Dr. Shannon Lucid, who'd set an American record for time spent in space. When she arrived back on Earth Sept. 26, Lucid had spent a record 188 days in orbit.

And it was on this date in 1992 that the son of conservative activist and gay-rights opponent Phyllis Schlafly confirmed he was homosexual. Said Schlafly, "I love my son."

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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