Today is Friday, Sept. 18, the 261st day of 2015 with 104 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Mercury, Neptune and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include English poet/lexicographer Samuel Johnson, writer of the first English dictionary, in 1709; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story in 1779; French physicist Leon Foucault, inventor of the gyroscope, in 1819; choreographer Agnes de Mille in 1905; actor Greta Garbo in 1905; actor Leon Askin in 1907; actor Jack Warden in 1920; actor Robert Blake in 1933 (age 82); film producer Bud Greenspan in 1926; comedian Fred Willard in 1939 (age 76); singer/actor Frankie Avalon in 1940 (age 75); musician Dee Dee Ramone in 1951; Dr. Ben Carson, surgeon/political commentator, in 1951 (age 64); basketball Hall of Fame member Rick Pitino in 1952 (age 63); Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges in 1956 (age 59); baseball Hall of Fame member Ryne Sandberg in 1959 (age 56); actor Holly Robinson Peete in 1964 (age 51); actor Jada Pinkett Smith in 1971 (age 44); cyclist Lance Armstrong in 1971 (age 44); singer/actor Megan Lee in 1992 (age 23.)
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 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 Caribbean islands for several 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 1975, FBI agents in San Francisco captured former hostage Patricia Hearst along with two members of a group called the Symbionese Liberation Army. (Hearst was convicted in an SLA bank robbery and served 22 months in prison before her sentence was commuted. She later was granted a full pardon by U.S. President Bill Clinton.)
In 1983, 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.
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 2003, Hurricane Isabel slammed into the North Carolina coast, causing nearly 40 deaths and inflicting property damage estimated at $4 billion.
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.
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 from polls and left at least 14 people dead. A total of 2,514 candidates vied for seats in the 249-member Parliament.
In 2013, Ken Norton, who shocked the boxing world with an upset of Muhammad Ali in 1973 and later became heavyweight champion, died in Arizona. The 70-year-old Norton had been in failing health for several years.
In 2014, Scotland chose to remain in the United Kingdom, rejecting independence in a historic national referendum that had a voter turnout of 84 percent. More than 55 percent of voters were against leaving the U.K.
A thought for the day: "Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly. " -- Roger Ebert