Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, October 26, 2019

Today is Saturday, Oct. 26, the 299th day of 2019. There are 66 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On October 26th, 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.

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On this date:

In 1774, the First Continental Congress adjourned in Philadelphia.

In 1825, the Erie Canal opened in upstate New York, connecting Lake Erie and the Hudson River.

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 1944, the World War II Battle of Leyte 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 1965, the Beatles received MBE medals as Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

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 2000, the New York Yankees became the first team in more than a quarter-century to win three straight World Series championships, beating the New York Mets 4-to-2 in game five of their “Subway Series.” (The Yankees matched the Oakland Athletics’ three in a row from 1972-74, and won their fourth title in five years.)

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.

In 2006, a wildfire in Southern California killed five firefighters (investigators later determined the cause of the blaze was arson).

Ten years ago: A U.S. military helicopter crashed while returning from the scene of a firefight with suspected Taliban drug traffickers in western Afghanistan, killing 10 Americans, including three DEA agents; four more troops were killed when two helicopters collided over southern Afghanistan. Bill Cosby received the 12th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor during a salute at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Five years ago: Left-leaning Dilma Roussef was narrowly re-elected in Brazil’s tightest presidential election since its return to democracy three decades earlier. Serena Williams won the WTA Tour Finals for the third straight year and fifth time overall, beating Simona Halep (HAL’-ehp) 6-3, 6-0 in Singapore. The San Francisco Giants shut out the Kansas City Royals 5-0 to take a 3-2 edge in the World Series.

One year ago: Federal authorities captured a Florida man with a criminal history and accused him of sending at least 13 mail bombs to prominent Democrats. (Cesar Sayoc was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a judge who concluded that the bombs purposely were not designed to explode.) The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox took the field for what would become the longest World Series game in history, an 18-inning marathon lasting 7 hours and 20 minutes; the Red Sox won 3-2 on a home run by Max Muncy. Former Fox News Channel personality Megyn Kelly was fired from her NBC morning show after triggering an uproar by suggesting it was OK for white people to wear blackface at Halloween.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Shelley Morrison is 83. Actress Jaclyn Smith is 74. TV host Pat Sajak is 73. Hillary Rodham Clinton is 72. Musician Bootsy Collins is 68. Actor James Pickens Jr. is 67. Rock musician David Was is 67. Rock musician Keith Strickland (The B-52’s) is 66. Actress Lauren Tewes is 66. Actor D.W. Moffett is 65. Actress-singer Rita Wilson is 63. The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, is 60. Actor Patrick Breen is 59. Actor Dylan McDermott is 58. Actor Cary Elwes is 57. Singer Natalie Merchant is 56. Actor Steve Valentine is 53. Country singer Keith Urban is 52. Actor Tom Cavanagh is 51. Actress Rosemarie DeWitt is 48. Actor Anthony Rapp is 48. Writer-producer Seth MacFarlane (TV: “Family Guy”) is 46. TV news correspondent Paula Faris is 44. Actress Lennon Parham is 44. Actress Florence Kasumba is 43. Actor Hal Ozsan is 43. Actor Jon Heder is 42. Singer Mark Barry (BBMak) is 41. Actor Jonathan Chase is 40. Actress Folake Olowofoyeku is 36. Olympic silver medal figure skater Sasha Cohen is 35. Rapper Schoolboy Q is 33. Actor Beulah Koale (TV: “Hawaii Five-0”) is 28.