Today in History

Associated Press

Today is Sunday, Oct. 26, the 299th day of 2014. There are 66 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 26, 1944, the World War II Battle of Leyte Gulf ended in a major Allied victory over Japanese forces, whose naval capabilities were badly crippled.

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 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 1974, five bombs exploded at business sites in midtown Manhattan and Wall Street, injuring no one; the Puerto Rican separatist group FALN claimed responsibility.

In 1979, South Korean President Park Chung-hee was shot to death during a dinner party along with his chief bodyguard by the head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, Kim Jae-kyu, who was later executed.

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: The Federal Communications Commission gave its approval to Cingular Wireless LLC's $41 billion acquisition of AT&T Wireless Services Inc. Israel's parliament approved Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan for withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. The final vote count in the Afghan presidential election gave a resounding victory to interim leader Hamid Karzai (HAH'-mihd KAHR'-zeye). The Boston Red Sox won Game 3 of the World Series in St. Louis, defeating the Cardinals 4-1.

Five 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.

One year ago: A Phoenix man went on a rampage, shooting to death four members of a family who lived next door to him, along with their two dogs, before turning the gun on himself; authorities speculated that the incessant noise of barking dogs drove Michael Guzzo to kill. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks tripped Allen Craig for a game-ending obstruction call on Jon Jay's ninth-inning grounder, giving the St. Louis Cardinals a bizarre 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox and a 2-1 World Series lead.

Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Edward Brooke III, R-Mass., is 95. Actress Shelley Morrison is 78. Author Pat Conroy is 69. Actress Jaclyn Smith is 69. TV host Pat Sajak is 68. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is 67. Singer Maggie Roche (The Roches) is 63. Musician Bootsy Collins is 63. Actor James Pickens Jr. is 62. Rock musician Keith Strickland (The B-52's) is 61. Actor D.W. Moffett is 60. Actress-singer Rita Wilson is 58. The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, is 55. Actor Dylan McDermott is 53. Actor Cary Elwes is 52. Singer Natalie Merchant is 51. Country singer Keith Urban is 47. Actor Tom Cavanagh is 46. Actress Rosemarie DeWitt is 43. Actor Anthony Rapp is 43. Writer-producer Seth MacFarlane (TV: "Family Guy") is 41. Actress Lennon Parham is 39. Actor Hal Ozsan is 38. Actor Jon Heder is 37. Singer Mark Barry (BBMak) is 36. Actor Jonathan Chase is 35. Olympic silver medal figure skater Sasha Cohen is 30. Rapper Schoolboy Q is 28.

Thought for Today: "Time sometimes flies like a bird, sometimes crawls like a snail; but a man is happiest when he does not even notice whether it passes swiftly or slowly." — Ivan Turgenev, Russian author (1818-1883).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, Oct. 26)

Copyright 2014, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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