Today in History

Published 12:44 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Today is Wednesday, Dec. 27, the 361st day of 2017. There are four days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 27, 1927, the musical play “Show Boat,” with music by Jerome Kern and libretto by Oscar Hammerstein II, opened at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York, beginning a run of 572 performances.

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On this date:

In 1831, naturalist Charles Darwin set out on a round-the-world voyage aboard the HMS Beagle.

In 1892, the cornerstone was laid for the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.

In 1904, James Barrie’s play “Peter Pan: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” opened at the Duke of York’s Theater in London.

In 1932, New York City’s Radio City Music Hall first opened.

In 1945, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were formally established.

In 1947, the original version of the puppet character Howdy Doody made his TV debut on NBC’s “Puppet Playhouse.”

In 1949, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands signed an act recognizing Indonesia’s sovereignty after more than three centuries of Dutch rule.

In 1968, Apollo 8 and its three astronauts made a safe, nighttime splashdown in the Pacific.

In 1970, the musical play “Hello, Dolly!” closed on Broadway after a run of 2,844 performances.

In 1979, Soviet forces seized control of Afghanistan. President Hafizullah Amin (hah-FEE’-zoo-lah ah-MEEN’), who was overthrown and executed, was replaced by Babrak Karmal.

In 1985, Palestinian guerrillas opened fire inside the Rome and Vienna airports; 19 victims were killed, plus four attackers who were slain by police and security personnel. American naturalist Dian Fossey, 53, who had studied gorillas in the wild in Rwanda, was found hacked to death.

In 1995, Israeli jeeps sped out of the West Bank town of Ramallah, capping a seven-week pullout giving Yasser Arafat control over 90 percent of the West Bank’s one million Palestinian residents and one-third of its land.

Ten years ago: Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, 54, was assassinated in a gun and suicide-bomb attack in Pakistan following a campaign rally. Kenya held an election pitting incumbent president Mwai Kibaki (mwy kih-BAH’-kee) against opposition candidate Raila Odinga (RY’-luh oh-DING’-uh); both candidates ended up claiming victory in a vote that observers said was seriously flawed. (Kenya was racked by weeks of ethnic violence; Kibaki and Odinga ended up forming a coalition government.)

Five years ago: An Indian-born man, Sunando Sen, was shoved to his death from a New York City subway platform; suspect Erika Menendez later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 24 years in prison. (Authorities say Menendez pushed Sen because she thought he was Muslim; Sen was Hindu.) Retired Army general Norman Schwarzkopf, 78, died in Tampa, Florida. Character actor Harry Carey Jr., 91, died in Santa Barbara, California.

One year ago: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh AH’-bay), accompanied by President Barack Obama, visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, where he offered his “sincere and everlasting condolences to the souls of those who lost their lives” in Japan’s 1941 attack; Abe did not apologize, but conceded his country “must never repeat the horrors of war again.” Actress Carrie Fisher died in a hospital four days after suffering a medical emergency aboard a flight to Los Angeles; she was 60. Cavaliers superstar LeBron James was voted AP Male Athlete of the Year after bringing the NBA title to Cleveland.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Amos is 78. ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts is 74. Rock musician Mick Jones (Foreigner) is 73. Singer Tracy Nelson is 73. Actor Gerard Depardieu is 69. Jazz singer-musician T.S. Monk is 68. Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff is 66. Rock musician David Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 65. Actress Tovah Feldshuh is 64. Journalist-turned-politician Arthur Kent is 64. Actress Maryam D’Abo is 57. Country musician Jeff Bryant is 55. Actor Ian Gomez is 53. Actress Theresa Randle is 53. Actress Eva LaRue is 51. Wrestler and actor Bill Goldberg is 51. Actress Tracey Cherelle Jones is 48. Bluegrass singer-musician Darrin Vincent (Dailey & Vincent) is 48. Rock musician Guthrie Govan is 46. Musician Matt Slocum is 45. Actor Wilson Cruz is 44. Singer Olu is 44. Actor Masi Oka is 43. Actor Aaron Stanford is 41. Actress Emilie de Ravin is 36. Christian rock musician James Mead (Kutless) is 35. Rock singer Hayley Williams (Paramore) is 29. Country singer Shay Mooney (Dan & Shay) is 26.

Thought for Today: “Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” — Gertrude Stein, American author (1874-1946).