Today is Friday, Oct. 26, the 300th day of 2012. There are 66 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Oct. 26, 1942, Japanese planes badly damaged the aircraft carrier USS Hornet in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands during World War II. (The Hornet sank early the next morning; the battle itself ended in a tactical victory for Japan, but ultimately a strategic win for the Allies.)
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, Ariz.
In 1902, women's rights pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton died in New York at age 86.
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 1962, the thriller "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?," starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, had its premiere in New York.
In 1972, national security adviser Henry Kissinger declared, "Peace is at hand" in Vietnam. Aviation innovator Igor Sikorsky died in Easton, Conn., at age 83.
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 1982, the medical drama "St. Elsewhere" premiered on NBC.
Ten years ago: The 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. Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters circled the White House after Jesse Jackson and other speakers denounced the Bush administration's Iraq policies. The Anaheim Angels defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-5 in Game 6 of the World Series, forcing a seventh and final showdown.
Five years ago: A federal jury in Kansas City, Mo., decided that Lisa Montgomery, convicted of killing expectant mother Bobbie Jo Stinnett and cutting the baby from her womb, should receive the death penalty. The Georgia Supreme Court freed Genarlow Wilson, saying his 10-year sentence for consensual oral sex with another teenager, a 15-year-old girl, was cruel and unusual punishment. Friedman Paul Erhardt, television's "Chef Tell," died in Upper Black Eddy, Pa., at age 63.
One year ago: President Barack Obama recalled his struggles with student loan debt as he unveiled a plan at the University of Colorado Denver that could give millions of young people some relief on their payments. In a verdict that disappointed pro-democracy activists, two Egyptian policemen who beat a man to death were convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter and given a relatively light sentence in a case that helped spark Egypt's uprising.
Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Edward Brooke III, R-Mass., is 93. Actress Shelley Morrison is 76. Actor Bob Hoskins is 70. Author Pat Conroy is 67. Actress Jaclyn Smith is 67. TV host Pat Sajak is 66. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is 65. Singer Maggie Roche (The Roches) is 61. Musician Bootsy Collins is 61. Actor James Pickens Jr. is 60. Rock musician Keith Strickland (The B-52's) is 59. Actor D.W. Moffett is 58. Actress Rita Wilson is 56. The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, is 53. Actor Dylan McDermott is 51. Actor Cary Elwes is 50. Singer Natalie Merchant is 49. Country singer Keith Urban is 45. Actor Tom Cavanagh is 44. Actress Rosemarie DeWitt is 41. Actor Anthony Rapp is 41. Writer-producer Seth MacFarlane (TV: "Family Guy") is 39. Actress Lennon Parham is 37. Actor Hal Ozsan is 36. Actor Jon Heder is 35. Singer Mark Barry (BBMak) is 34. Olympic silver medal figure skater Sasha Cohen is 28.
Thought for Today: "Facts are many, but the truth is one." -- Sir Rabindranath Tagore (ruh-BIHN'-druh-naht tuh-GOHR'), Indian Nobel Prize-winning poet (1861-1941).