On This Day: December 27

Updated December 26, 2011, 1:28 pm

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On Dec. 27, 1979, Soviet forces seized control of Afghanistan. President Hafizullah Amin, who was overthrown and executed, was replaced by Babrak Karmal.

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On Dec. 27, 1901, Marlene Dietrich, the magnetic movie star and singer who was considered an international symbol of glamour, was born. Following her death on May 6, 1992, her obituary appeared in The Times.

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On This Date

By The Associated Press
1831 British naturalist Charles Darwin set out on a voyage to the Pacific Ocean aboard the HMS Beagle. Darwin’s discoveries during the nearly five-year journey helped form the basis of his theories on evolution.
1927 The musical “Show Boat,” with music by Jerome Kern and libretto by Oscar Hammerstein II, opened at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City.
1932 Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City.
1945 The World Bank was created with an agreement signed by 28 nations.
1947 The children’s TV program “Howdy Doody” debuted on NBC.
1949 Queen Juliana of the Netherlands granted sovereignty to Indonesia after more than 300 years of Dutch rule.
1968 Apollo 8, the first spaceflight to orbit the moon, returned to Earth.
1970 “Hello, Dolly!” closed on Broadway after a run of 2,844 performances.
1979 Soviet forces seized control of Afghanistan. Babrak Karmal succeeded President Hafizullah Amin, who was overthrown and executed.
1985 Naturalist Dian Fossey, who had studied gorillas in the wild, was found hacked to death at a research station in Rwanda.
2001 U.S. officials announced that Taliban and al-Qaida prisoners would be held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
2004 Viktor Yushchenko won a runoff in Ukraine’s presidential election, completing the country’s “Orange Revolution.”
2005 Indonesia’s Aceh rebels formally abolished their 30-year armed struggle for independence under a peace deal born out of the 2004 tsunami.

Current Birthdays

By The Associated Press
Emilie de Ravin, Actress (“Lost”)

Actress Emilie de Ravin (“Lost”) turns 30 years old today.

AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Cole Hamels, Baseball player

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels turns 28 years old today.

AP Photo/Paul Bereswill

1931 Scotty Moore, Rock musician, turns 80
1939 John Amos, Actor, turns 72
1943 Cokie Roberts, Broadcast journalist, turns 68
1944 Mick Jones, Rock musician (Foreigner), turns 67
1948 Gerard Depardieu, Actor, turns 63
1952 Tovah Feldshuh, Actress, turns 59
1956 Karen Hughes, Former White House aide, turns 55
1959 Andre Tippett, Football Hall of Famer, turns 52
1964 Theresa Randle, Actress, turns 47
1969 Sarah Vowell, Author, turns 42
1974 Masi Oka, Actor (“Heroes”), turns 37
1979 Carson Palmer, Football player, turns 32
1988 Hayley Williams, Rock singer (Paramore), turns 23

Historic Birthdays

Marlene Dietrich 12/27/1901 – 5/6/1992 German-born American actress. Go to obituary »
59 Louis Bromfield 12/27/1896 – 3/18/1956
American novelist and essayist
95 Cyrus Eaton 12/27/1883 – 5/9/1979
Canadian-born American industrialist and philanthropist
93 Sir Mackenzie Bowell 12/27/1823 – 12/10/1917
Canadian prime minister
72 Louis Pasteur 12/27/1822 – 9/28/1895
French biologist and chemist; invented pasteurization process
84 Sir George Cayley 12/27/1773 – 12/15/1857
English aerial navigator
62 William Johnson 12/27/1771 – 8/4/1834
American Supreme Court justice
58 Johannes Kepler 12/27/1571 – 11/15/1630
German astronomer

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