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Oct. 26 in history: Canada Day is named and the Erie Canal opens

In 1982, the Senate passed legislation renaming the July 1st holidayCanada Day. The legislation capped Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's planto give Canada an independent identity complete with its ownConstitution, which had been repatriated in April, 1982.

In 1982, the Senate passed legislation renaming the July 1st holiday
Canada Day. The legislation capped Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's plan
to give Canada an independent identity complete with its own
Constitution, which had been repatriated in April, 1982.

Also on this date:

In 1774, the American Congress invited Canada to join the 13 colonies opposing Britain.

1813, a small force of British and Canadian soldiers defeated an
advance party of 1,500 Americans at the battle of Chateauguay.

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

In 1850, Capt. McClure of the Royal Navy discovered the Northwest Passage while searching for the Franklin expedition.

In 1879, Leon Trotsky, a leader of the Russian Revolution, was born at Yanovka, Russia.

1881, the Gunfight at the OK Corral took place in Tombstone, Ariz.
Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and Doc Holliday shot it out with Ike
Clanton's gang. Three members of Clanton's gang, including his brother,
were killed, and Earp's brothers were wounded.

In 1902, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an American pioneer in the fight for voting rights for women, died.

In 1905, Norway separated from Sweden, naming Prince Charles of Denmark king.

In 1934, the Honorable H. H. Stevens resigned from the Bennett government and formed his own Reconstruction Party.

1942, Japanese planes badly damaged the U.S. warship “Hornet” in the
“Battle of Santa Cruz Islands” during the Second World War. (The
“Hornet” sank early the next morning.)

In 1942, 16 people were killed when a Royal Air Force ferry bomber crashed at Montreal's Dorval Airport.

1948, the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America was organized at Des
Moines, Iowa. The association is comprised of 24 Pentecostal groups and
meets annually to promote unity among Pentecostal Christians.

In 1950, Canada and the United States agreed on economic principles for joint defence production.

1957, the Soviet Union's minister of defence, Marshal Zhukov, was
relieved of his post, accused of promoting his own “cult of
personality” and seen as threatening Khrushchev's popularity.

1958, Pan American Airways flew its first Boeing 707 jetliner from New
York to Paris in eight hours and 41 minutes. At the same time, the
first London-New York flight was inaugurated by British Overseas

In 1969, former prime minister John Diefenbaker was installed as chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan.

In 1970, the comic “Doonesbury” by Garry Trudeau premiered.

In 1976, Transkei became the first of South Africa's black homelands to be declared an independent republic.

In 1977, the experimental shuttle “Enterprise” glided to a bumpy landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

1979, South Korean President Park Chung-hee was shot to death by the
head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, Kim Jae-kyu.

1984, “Baby Fae,” a newborn with a severe heart defect, was given the
heart of a baboon in an experimental transplant in Loma Linda, Calif.
She lived 21 days with the animal heart.

In 1984, New Brunswick
Premier Richard Hatfield was charged with possession of 26.5 grams of
marijuana. The charges were laid after RCMP officers discovered the
drug on Sept. 25 in Hatfield's luggage while he was accompanying the
Queen during her visit to New Brunswick. Hatfield was later acquitted.

1985, Jacinth Fyfe, 25, of Roxboro, Que., became the first policewoman
in Canada to die in the line of duty when she was fatally shot by a man
while answering a call.

In 1988, two grey whales were freed by a
Russian icebreaker in Barrow, Alaska. They were assisted by Inuit using
chainsaws to cut the ice as the world looked on. A third trapped whale
died before the rescue.

In 1992, the Charlottetown Accord, which
would have drastically altered the Constitution, was defeated in a
national referendum. Canada-wide, the “No” vote garnered 54 per cent,
compared with a 45 per cent “Yes” vote.

In 1993, brush fires
that would eventually destroy more than one thousand homes broke out in
southern California. Some of the fires, which scorched more than 2,700
hectares, were deliberately set. It took more than a month to contain
the last major blaze.

In 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty to end 46 years of war.

1999, the British House of Lords, under pressure from Prime Minister
Tony Blair's Labour government, agreed to abolish the 800-year-old
right of hereditary nobles to sit and vote in Britain's upper chamber
of Parliament.

In 2000, the New York Yankees beat the New York
Mets to win the baseball “Subway Series,” their third consecutive World
Series championship.

In 2000, astronomers J.J. Kavelaars of
Hamilton and Brett Gladman of Alberta announced they and their research
partners had discovered four more moons orbiting the planet Saturn.

2001, U.S. President Bush signed the “Patriot Act,” giving authorities
the unprecedented ability to search, seize, detain or eavesdrop in
their pursuit of possible terrorists.

In 2002, a three-day
hostage crisis at a Moscow theatre came to an end as Russian forces
stormed the building using a mysterious knockout gas that killed at
least 120 hostages. About 50 hostage-takers were also killed.

In 2003, Canadian Paul Tracy won his first CART title in Australia after 13 years of trying.

In 2004, Newfoundland theatre director Jillian Keiley won the Siminovitch Prize, worth $100,000.

2004, a Saskatchewan public inquiry found that aboriginal teenager Neil
Stonechild, who froze to death in a snowy field on Saskatoon's
outskirts nearly 14 years earlier, was in police custody just before he
died and that investigators closed the case prematurely.

In 2005, 17 Alberta oil field workers shared a $54-million lottery win, the biggest jackpot in Canadian history.

2006, Canadian author and environmental activist Farley Mowat was
honoured in Port Hope, Ont., with a monument inspired by one of his
novels, “The Farfarers.”

In 2008, Tony Hillerman, author of the
acclaimed Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels and creator of two of the
unlikeliest of literary heroes -- Navajo police officers Joe Leaphorn
and Jim Chee -- died in Albuquerque, N.M. of pulmonary failure. He was

In 2008, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton hit a home run, just the 15th by a pitcher in World Series history
and the first since Oakland's Ken Holtzman in 1974. No National League
pitcher had homered since the Cardinals' Bob Gibson in 1968.

In 2009, health officials launched the biggest vaccination program in Canadian history, targeting the pandemic H1N1 virus.

2009, the Ontario law making it illegal for drivers to use hand-held
cellphones, BlackBerrys and other electronic devices while behind the
wheel, came into effect.

In 2010, Iran began the process of
loading 163 fuel rods into the reactor core of its first nuclear power
plant. It was built with Russian help in the southern port city of

In 2010, Tariq Aziz, the dapper diplomat and
highest-ranking Christian in Saddam Hussein's regime, was sentenced to
death by hanging for persecuting members of the Shiite religious
parties. (In November, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani declared he
wouldn't sign off on the death penalty.)

In 2010, Mount Merapi
in Indonesia erupted killing 38 people and forcing 50,000 people to
flee down its slopes. Meanwhile, off the coast of Sumatra about 1,300
km west of the volcano, a three-metre tsunami triggered by an
earthquake on Oct. 25 swept away hundreds of homes, killing nearly 450

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