This Day In History

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  • 1 million people attend funeral of Mao Zedong

    More than one million people gather at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for the funeral of Mao Zedong, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party and chairman of the People’s Republic of China since 1949. Mao, who died on September 9, 1976, at the age of 82, was born on December 26, 1893, to ...
  • Patty Hearst captured by police

    Newspaper heiress and wanted fugitive Patty Hearst is captured in a San Francisco apartment and arrested for armed robbery. On February 4, 1974, Patricia Hearst, the 19-year-old daughter of newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, California, by two black ...
  • Anne Hutchinson arrives in the New World

    Anne Hutchinson, an Englishwoman who would become an outspoken religious thinker in the American colonies, arrives at the Massachusetts Bay Colony with her family. She settled in Cambridge and began organizing meetings of Boston women in her home, leading them in discussions of recent sermons and ...
  • George Washington lays the Capitol cornerstone

    On September 18, 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol building, the home of the legislative branch of American government. The building would take nearly a century to complete, as architects came and went, the British set fire to it and it was called into use ...
  • Jimmy Carter files report on UFO sighting

    Future President Jimmy Carter files a report with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) on September 18, 1973, claiming he had seen an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in October 1969. During the presidential campaign of 1976, Democratic challenger Carter was forthcoming ...
  • The struggling Donner Party sends ahead to California for food

    Weeks behind schedule and the massive Sierra Nevada mountains still to be crossed, on September 18, 1846, the members of the ill-fated Donner Party realize they are running short of supplies and send two men ahead to California to bring back food. The group of 89 emigrants had begun their western ...
  • Doris Day wins lawsuit

    On September 18, 1974, actress Doris Day wins a $22.8 million malpractice suit against her former lawyer. Day, one of the biggest box office draws of the 1950s and ’60s, had allowed her third husband, Martin Melcher, to handle her finances. After his death in 1968, she discovered that her $20 ...
  • Hundreds are accidentally poisoned in Brazil

    On September 18, 1987, cesium-137 is removed from an abandoned cancer-therapy machine in Brazil. Hundreds of people were eventually poisoned by radiation from the substance, highlighting the danger that even relatively small amounts of radiation can pose. In 1985, the Goiania Institute of ...
  • Serial killer Harvey Glatman is executed

    Serial killer Harvey Glatman is executed in a California gas chamber for murdering three young women in Los Angeles. Resisting all appeals to save his life, Glatman even wrote to the appeals board to say, “I only want to die.” Glatman had been a smart kid. As a Boy Scout, he developed an obsession ...
  • Fidel Castro arrives in New York

    Fidel Castro arrives in New York City as the head of the Cuban delegation to the United Nations. Castro’s visit stirred indignation and admiration from various sectors of American society, and was climaxed by his speech to the United Nations on September 26. By the time Castro arrived in New York ...