On This Day September 18
1970 – Jimi Hendrix, considered one of rock music’s greatest guitarists of all time, dies of an apparent drug overdose in London at the age of 27. Hendrix dazzled audiences in the 1960s with groundbreaking guitar-playing techniques and experimental sounds.
1976 – “Play That Funky Music,” by Ohio-based funk-rock band Wild Cherry, kicks off three weeks as a No. 1 single. The track sells more than 2.5 million copies in the U.S. and becomes the band’s only Top 40 song.
1793 – President George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol in the building’s southeast corner during a Masonic ceremony that concludes with a 15-gun salute. Washington would return periodically to oversee construction, but did not live to see Congress occupy the new building. He died in December 1799, less than a year before the Senate and House would first convene in the Capitol.
1965 – Television viewers meet secret agents Maxwell Smart and 99 as NBC debuts “Get Smart.” The spy sitcom, starring Don Adams and Barbara Feldon and created by comedic genius Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, runs for five seasons and introduces viewers to the first true mobile phone—embedded in the bottom of Smart’s shoe.
1971 – Actress-producer Jada Pinkett Smith (“True Colors,” “A Different World,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Menace II Society,” “Set It Off, “Scream 2,” “Ali,” “The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions,” “Madagascar”)