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.
1999: Singer-songwriter and actor Hoyt Axton, best known for writing such songs as "Joy to the World," "Never Been to Spain," "Greenback Dollar" and "The Pusher," dies of a heart attack at age 61 in Victor, Montana. Axton also appeared in movies such as "The Black Stallion" and "Gremlins" and made cameos on several TV series in the 1970s and '80s.
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