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This Day in History: October 26


1774 – The first Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia.

1775 – King George III of Great Britain goes before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorized a military response to quell the American Revolution.

1776 – Benjamin Franklin departs from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.

1813 – War of 1812: A combined force of British regulars, Canadian militia, and Mohawks defeat the Americans in the Battle of the Chateauguay.

1825 – The Erie Canal opens: Passage from Albany, New York to Lake Erie.

1861 – The Pony Express officially ceases operations.

1881 – The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral takes place at Tombstone, Arizona.

1921 – The Chicago Theatre opens.

1936 – The first electric generator at Hoover Dam goes into full operation.

1942 – World War II: In the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands during the Guadalcanal Campaign, one U.S. aircraft carrier, Hornet, is sunk and another aircraft carrier, Enterprise, is heavily damaged, while two Japanese carriers and one cruiser are heavily damaged.

1944 – World War II: The Battle of Leyte Gulf ends with an overwhelming American victory.

1958 – Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France.

1970 – Muhammad Ali faces off against Jerry Quarry in Atlanta, Georgia for the first time after Ali's three-year hiatus from evading to be drafted in the Vietnam War.

1984 – "Baby Fae" receives a heart transplant from a baboon.

2001 – The United States passes the USA PATRIOT Act into law.

2003 – The Cedar Fire, the second-largest fire in California history, kills 15 people, consumes 250,000 acres (1,000 km2), and destroys 2,200 homes around San Diego.


1609 – William Sprague, English-American settler, co-founded Charlestown, Massachusetts (d. 1675)

1854 – C. W. Post, American businessman, founded Post Foods (d. 1914)

1865 – Benjamin Guggenheim, American businessman (d. 1912)

1874 – Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, American philanthropist, founded the Museum of Modern Art (d. 1948)

1911 – Sid Gillman, American football player and coach (d. 2003)

1911 – Mahalia Jackson, American singer and actress (d. 1972)

1914 – Jackie Coogan, American actor and director (d. 1984)

1919 – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran (d. 1980)

1920 – Sarah Lee Lippincott, American astronomer and academic

1922 – Madelyn Dunham, American grandmother of Barack Obama (d. 2008)

1945 – Jaclyn Smith, American actress and producer

1946 – Pat Sajak, American journalist, actor, and game show host

1947 – Hillary Rodham Clinton, American lawyer and politician, 67th United States Secretary of State & 44th First Lady of the United States


1675 – William Sprague, English-American settler, co-founded Charlestown, Massachusetts (b. 1609)

1902 – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American activist (b. 1815)

1931 – Charles Comiskey, American baseball player and manager (b. 1859)

1932 – Margaret Brown, American philanthropist and activist (b. 1867)

1952 – Hattie McDaniel, American actress and singer (b. 1895)