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18 September, 1709: Dr Samuel Johnson born in Lichfield.

1961: Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish Secretary-General of the UN, killed in plane crash.

1967: Sir John Cockcroft (above), one of a generation of brilliant physicists nurtured by Lord Rutherford at the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge between the wars, died. A mill owner's son from Todmorden West Yorkshire, he shared a Nobel Prize with the Irishman Ernest Walton for building the first machine to split atoms in 1932. The Daily Mirror said: 'Let it be split, so long as it does not explode.' Cockcroft worked on radar during the war and in 1946 became the first director of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell.

1970: Jimi Hendrix died of a drug overdose.