Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Oct 26, 2015 12:01 AM

Today in History

Today is Monday, Oct. 26, the 299th day of 2015. There are 66 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 26, 1965, The Beatles received MBE medals as Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

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 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.

In 1921, the Chicago Theatre, billed as "the Wonder Theatre of the World," first opened.

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 1958, Pan American Airways flew its first Boeing 707 jetliner from New York to Paris in 8 hours and 41 minutes.

In 1972, national security adviser Henry Kissinger declared, "Peace is at hand" in Vietnam. Aviation innovator Igor Sikorsky died in Easton, Connecticut, at age 83.

In 1975, Anwar Sadat became the first Egyptian president to pay an official visit to the United States.

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.) "The Terminator," a science-fiction movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a killer cyborg from the future, was released by Orion Pictures.

In 1994, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and Prime Minister Abdel Salam Majali of Jordan signed a peace treaty during a ceremony at the Israeli-Jordanian border attended by President Bill Clinton.

Ten years ago: Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (mahk-MOOD' ah-muh-DEE'-neh-zhadh) declared that Israel was a "disgraceful blot" that should be "wiped off the map." A 20-year-old Palestinian blew himself up in an open-air market in Hadera, killing five Israelis. The Chicago White Sox defeated the Houston Astros, 1-0, in Game 4 to win their first World Series since 1917.

Five 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.

One year 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 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.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Shelley Morrison is 79. Author Pat Conroy is 70. Actress Jaclyn Smith is 70. TV host Pat Sajak is 69. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is 68. Singer Maggie Roche (The Roches) is 64. Musician Bootsy Collins is 64. Actor James Pickens Jr. is 63. Rock musician Keith Strickland (The B-52's) is 62. Actor D.W. Moffett is 61. Actress-singer Rita Wilson is 59. The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, is 56. Actor Patrick Breen (TV: "Madam Secretary") is 55. Actor Dylan McDermott is 54. Actor Cary Elwes is 53. Singer Natalie Merchant is 52. Country singer Keith Urban is 48. Actor Tom Cavanagh is 47. Actress Rosemarie DeWitt is 44. Actor Anthony Rapp is 44. Writer-producer Seth MacFarlane (TV: "Family Guy") is 42. TV correspondent and co-host Paula Faris (TV: "The View") is 40. Actress Lennon Parham is 40. Actor Hal Ozsan is 39. Actor Jon Heder is 38. Singer Mark Barry (BBMak) is 37. Actor Jonathan Chase is 36. Olympic silver medal figure skater Sasha Cohen is 31. Rapper Schoolboy Q is 29.

Thought for Today: "Without a song, each day would be a century." — Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer and civil rights activist (born this date in 1911, died in 1972).