On this day: October 26

Published: Oct 25 2012 03:17:52 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 26 2012 02:00:00 AM EDT

The Erie Canal opens, the Pony Express closes, Wyatt Earp shoots it out in Tombstone, "Baby Fae" gets a baboon heart, and the Patriot Act is signed into law, all on this day.

OTD October 26 - Moscow theater
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Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

2002: Thirty-nine Chechen terrorists and at least 129 hostages die when Russian Spetsnaz forces pump a knockout gas into a Moscow theater and storm the building, which had been occupied by the terrorists during a musical performance three days before. All but a few of the hostages who died during the siege were killed by the toxic substance pumped into the theater to subdue the militants, causing a backlash against the government, especially for refusing to reveal the type of gas used in the assault.

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