This Day In History

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  • Whitney Houston earns her first #1 hit with “Saving All My Love For You”

    Whitney Houston was the daughter of soul singer Cissy Houston and niece of pop star Dionne Warwick, and she parlayed her vocal gifts and the professional nurturing of her well-connected family into superstardom of a kind rarely matched before or since. A near-unknown prior to the release of her ...
  • Erie Canal opens

    The Erie Canal opens, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean via the Hudson River. Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York, the driving force behind the project, led the opening ceremonies and rode the canal boat Seneca Chief from Buffalo to New York City. Work began on the waterway in ...
  • Infant receives baboon heart

    At Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, California, Dr. Leonard L. Bailey performs the first baboon-to-human heart transplant, replacing a 14-day-old infant girl’s defective heart with the healthy, walnut-sized heart of a young baboon. The infant, known as “Baby Fae,” was born with ...
  • Shootout at the O.K. Corral

    On October 26, 1881, the Earp brothers face off against the Clanton-McLaury gang in a legendary shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. After silver was discovered nearby in 1877, Tombstone quickly grew into one of the richest mining towns in the Southwest. Wyatt Earp, a former Kansas ...
  • Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner lets ground ball roll through his legs

    In the wee hours of the morning on October 26, 1986, Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner lets an easy ground ball dribble between his legs and roll down the right-field line. It was just a routine fielding error, but it was a disaster for the Boston Red Sox: It was the 10th inning of the sixth game ...
  • George W. Bush signs the Patriot Act

    On October 26, 2001, President George W. Bush signs the Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law drawn up in response to the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The USA PATRIOT Act, as it is officially known, is an acronym for “Uniting and Strengthening America by ...
  • “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak is born

    On October 26, 1946, Patrick Leonard Sajdak, who will one day be known to millions of game-show fans as the Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak, is born in Chicago. Wheel of Fortune, which debuted in 1975, became the longest-running syndicated game show on American television, turning Sajak and his ...
  • An Ozzy Osbourne fan dies by suicide

    Nineteen-year-old John McCollum is found shot to death on his bed in Indio, California. Although it was quickly determined that the fatal wound was self-inflicted, McCollum’s parents believed that singer Ozzy Osbourne was actually responsible because their son had been listening to Osbourne’s ...
  • “Bloody Bill” Anderson killed

    On October 26, 1864, the notorious Confederate guerrilla leader William “Bloody Bill” Anderson is killed in Missouri in a Union ambush. Born in the late 1830s, Anderson grew up in Missouri and moved to Kansas in the late 1850s. Arriving to settle on his father’s land claim east of Council Grove, ...
  • King George III speaks to Parliament of American rebellion

    On October 26, 1775, King George III speaks before both houses of the British Parliament to discuss growing concern about the rebellion in America, which he viewed as a traitorous action against himself and Great Britain. He began his speech by reading a “Proclamation of Rebellion” and urged ...