On this day: October 26

Published On: Oct 25 2012 02:17:52 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 26 2016 01:00:00 AM CDT

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

OTD October 26 - Moscow theater
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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

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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