Today’s Highlight in History:
On October 26th, 1774, the First Continental Congress adjourned in Philadelphia.
On this date:
In 1825, the Erie Canal opened in upstate New York, connecting Lake Erie and the Hudson River.
In 1861, the legendary Pony Express officially ceased operations, giving way to the transcontinental telegraph. (The last run of the Pony Express was completed the following month.)
In 1881, the “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” took place in Tombstone, Arizona, as Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and “Doc” Holliday confronted Ike Clanton’s gang. Three members of Clanton’s gang were killed; Earp’s brothers and Holliday were wounded.
In 1902, women’s rights pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton died in New York at age 86.
In 1944, the World War II Battle of Leyte (LAY’-tay) Gulf ended in a major Allied victory over Japanese forces, whose naval capabilities were badly crippled.
In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed a measure raising the minimum wage from 40 to 75 cents an hour.
In 1975, Anwar Sadat became the first Egyptian president to pay an official visit to the United States.
In 1979, South Korean President Park Chung-hee was shot to death by the head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, Kim Jae-kyu.
In 1980, Israeli President Yitzhak Navon became the first Israeli head of state to visit Egypt.
In 1984, “Baby Fae,” a newborn with a severe heart defect, was given the heart of a baboon in an experimental transplant in Loma Linda, California. (Baby Fae lived 21 days with the animal heart.)
In 2001, President George W. Bush signed the USA Patriot Act, giving authorities unprecedented ability to search, seize, detain or eavesdrop in their pursuit of possible terrorists.
In 2002, a hostage siege by Chechen rebels at a Moscow theater ended with 129 of the 800-plus captives dead, most from a knockout gas used by Russian special forces who stormed the theater; 41 rebels also died.
Ten years ago: Saddam Hussein’s foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, was sentenced to death for persecuting members of Shiite religious parties under the former regime. (The sentence was never carried out; Aziz died of a heart attack in June 2015.) Iran began loading fuel into the core of its first nuclear power plant. A day after an earthquake sparked a deadly tsunami, Indonesia saw another natural disaster as Mount Merapi (meh-RAH’-pee) began erupting explosively, resulting in hundreds of deaths in the weeks that followed.
Five years ago: A 7.5-magnitude quake in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan caused extensive damage in neighboring Pakistan and killed around 400 people. The World Health Organization, throwing its global weight behind years of experts’ warnings, declared that processed meats raised the risk of colon and stomach cancer and that red meat was probably harmful, too.
One year ago: Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blew himself up during a raid by U.S. special operations forces on his compound in Syria. A Northern California blaze forced evacuation orders and warnings for nearly all of Sonoma County; forecasts of strong winds prompted additional blackouts in the event of damage to power lines. Hollywood producer Robert Evans, who at Paramount Pictures had backed such films as “Chinatown” and “The Godfather,” died at the age of 89. A homemade device that was meant to discharge colorful powder at a “gender reveal” party to celebrate an upcoming birth for an Iowa family instead exploded like a pipe bomb; a 56-year-old relative was killed when she was hit by debris.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Jaclyn Smith is 75. TV host Pat Sajak is 74. Hillary Rodham Clinton is 73. Musician Bootsy Collins is 69. Actor James Pickens Jr. is 68. Rock musician David Was is 68.
Rock musician Keith Strickland (The B-52?s) is 67. Actor Lauren Tewes is 67. Actor D.W. Moffett is 66. Actor-singer Rita Wilson is 64. Actor Patrick Breen is 60. Actor Dylan McDermott is 59. Actor Cary Elwes is 58. Singer Natalie Merchant is 57. Actor Steve Valentine is 54. Country singer Keith Urban is 53. Actor Tom Cavanagh is 52. Actor Rosemarie DeWitt is 49. Actor Anthony Rapp is 49. Writer-producer Seth MacFarlane (TV: “Family Guy”) is 47. TV news correspondent Paula Faris is 45. Actor Lennon Parham is 45. Actor Florence Kasumba is 44. Actor Hal Ozsan is 44. Actor Jon Heder is 43. Singer Mark Barry (BBMak) is 42. Actor Jonathan Chase is 41. Actor Folake Olowofoyeku (foh-LAH’-kay oh-low-wow-foh-YAY’-koo) is 37. Olympic silver medal figure skater Sasha Cohen is 36. Rapper Schoolboy Q is 34. Actor Beulah Koale (TV: “Hawaii Five-0?) is 29.