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Today in History: October 26, Amy Coney Barrett confirmed as Supreme Court justice

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Oct. 26, the 299th day of 2023. There are 66 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On October 26th, 2020, Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court by a deeply divided Senate, with Republicans overpowering Democrats to install President Donald Trump's nominee days before the election and secure a likely conservative court majority for years to come.

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

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 1982, the medical drama "St. Elsewhere," which would make stars of Denzel Washington, Mark Harmon and others, premiered on NBC.

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. (She 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 in game five of their "Subway Series."

In 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.

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 2010, Iran began loading fuel into the core of its first nuclear power plant.

In 2012, after leaving nearly five dozen people dead in the Caribbean, Hurricane Sandy headed toward the eastern United States, with forecasters warning that it would merge with two winter weather systems to create a mega-storm.

In 2018, 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.)

In 2021, satirist Mort Sahl, who helped revolutionize stand-up comedy during the Cold War with his running commentary on politicians and current events, died at his California home at the age of 94.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Jaclyn Smith is 78. TV host Pat Sajak is 77. Hillary Rodham Clinton is 76. Musician Bootsy Collins is 72. Actor James Pickens Jr. is 71. Rock musician David Was is 71. Rock musician Keith Strickland (The B-52s) is 70. Actor Lauren Tewes is 70. Actor D.W. Moffett is 69. Actor-singer Rita Wilson is 67. Actor Patrick Breen is 63. Actor Dylan McDermott is 62. Actor Cary Elwes is 61. Singer Natalie Merchant is 60. Actor Steve Valentine is 57. Country singer Keith Urban is 56. Actor Tom Cavanagh is 55. Actor Rosemarie DeWitt is 52. Actor Anthony Rapp is 52. Writer-producer Seth MacFarlane (TV: "Family Guy") is 50. TV news correspondent Paula Faris is 48. Actor Lennon Parham is 48. Actor Florence Kasumba is 47. Actor Hal Ozsan is 47. Actor Jon Heder is 46. Singer Mark Barry (BBMak) is 45. Actor Jonathan Chase is 44. Actor Folake Olowofoyeku (foh-LAH'-kay oh-low-wow-foh-YAY'-koo) is 40. Olympic figure skater Sasha Cohen is 39. Rapper Schoolboy Q is 37. Actor Beulah Koale is 32.