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This day in history

Saturday, Oct. 26, is the 299th day of 2013. There are 66 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Former senator Edward Brooke III, R-Mass., is 94. Actress Jaclyn Smith is 68. TV host Pat Sajak is 67. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is 66. Actor Dylan McDermott is 52. Actor Cary Elwes is 51. Singer Natalie Merchant is 50. Country singer Keith Urban is 46. Writer-producer Seth MacFarlane (TV: ‘‘Family Guy”) is 40. Olympic silver medal figure skater Sasha Cohen is 29.

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In 1774, the First Continental Congress adjourned in Philadelphia.

In 1825, the Erie Canal opened, connecting Lake Erie and the Hudson River.

In 1861, the legendary Pony Express officially ceased operations, giving way to the transcontinental telegraph.

In 1881, the ‘‘Gunfight at the O.K. Corral’’ took place in Tombstone, Ariz.

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.

In 2001, President George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act, giving authorities unprecedented ability to search, seize, detain, or eavesdrop in their pursuit of possible terrorists.

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