It happened today – this day in history – September 18

1709: Samuel Johnson was born in Lichfield. His dictionary took him eight years to compile.

1810: Chile gained independence from Spain.

1851: The New York Times was first published.

1905: Film star Greta Garbo was born.

1948: Some 7,000 tons of food supplies and petrol were airlifted into Berlin by British and American aircraft, defying a Russian blockade.

1949: The British pound was devalued by 30 per cent by Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps and the milk ration was reduced to two pints a week per person.

1951: The Al Read Show started on BBC radio, with Jimmy Edwards and Pat Kirkwood. Read originated the catchphrases “Right monkey” and “You’ll be lucky!”

1961: UN secretary-general Dag Hammarskjold was killed when his plane was sabotaged and crashed in the jungle in Northern Rhodesia.

1970: Jimi Hendrix died from an apparent drug overdose.

1975: US Newspaper heiress and wanted fugitive Patty Hearst is captured in a San Francisco apartment and arrested for armed robbery 19 months after being kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. She was later photographed carrying out a bank robbery with the group.

1976: In China, 800 million citizens paid a last tribute to their leader Mao Tse-Tung at the beginning of a memorial service. For three minutes, one-fifth of the world’s population stood in silence.

1981: France abolished execution by guillotine.

BIRTHDAYS: Peter Shilton, former goalkeeper/football manager, 70; John Aldridge, former footballer/manager, 61; John Fashanu, TV presenter and former footballer, 57; Darren Gough, former cricketer, 49; Jada Pinkett Smith, actress, 48; James Marsden, actor, 46; Sol Campbell, footballer, 45; Dizzee Rascal, singer/rapper, 35.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]