Today is Monday, Dec. 27, the 361st day of 2021. There are four days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 27, 2001, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld announced that Taliban and al-Qaida prisoners would be held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
On this date:
In 1831, naturalist Charles Darwin set out on a round-the-world voyage aboard the HMS Beagle.
In 1932, New York City’s Radio City Music Hall first opened.
In 1949, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands signed an act recognizing Indonesia’s sovereignty after more than three centuries of Dutch rule.
In 1958, American physicist James Van Allen reported the discovery of a second radiation belt around Earth, in addition to one found earlier in the year.
In 1964, the Cleveland Browns defeated the Baltimore Colts 27-0 to win the NFL Championship Game played at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.
In 1968, Apollo 8 and its three astronauts made a safe, nighttime splashdown in the Pacific.
In 1979, Soviet forces seized control of Afghanistan. President Hafizullah Amin, 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 1 million Palestinian residents and one-third of its land.
In 1999, space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew returned to Earth after fixing the Hubble Space Telescope.
In 2000, President Bill Clinton put the first Black judge on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals serving several Southern states. (The nomination of Roger Gregory had been stalled in the Senate, but Clinton used a recess appointment to put him on the bench.)
In 2002, a defiant North Korea ordered U.N. nuclear inspectors to leave the country and said it would restart a laboratory capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons; the U.N. nuclear watchdog said its inspectors were “staying put” for the time being.
Ten years ago: Tens of thousands of defiant Syrian protesters thronged the streets of Homs, calling for the execution of President Bashar Assad shortly after his army pulled its tanks back and allowed Arab League monitors in for the first time to the city at the heart of the anti-government uprising.
Five years ago: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 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.” Actor Carrie Fisher died in a hospital four days after suffering a medical emergency aboard a flight to Los Angeles; she was 60.
One year ago: Nearly 1.3 million people went through U.S. airports, the highest level of air travel in more than nine months, despite fears that trips would lead to more cases of COVID-19. President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package, ending days of drama over his refusal to accept the bipartisan deal that would deliver cash to businesses and individuals and avert a federal government shutdown. Federal authorities identified the man they said was responsible for a Christmas Day bombing that tore through downtown Nashville; they said Anthony Quinn Warner had died in the blast.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Amos is 82. Rock musician Mick Jones (Foreigner) is 77. Singer Tracy Nelson is 77. Actor Gerard Depardieu is 73. Jazz singer-musician T.S. Monk is 72. Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff is 70. Rock musician David Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 69. Actor Tovah Feldshuh is 68. Journalist-turned-politician Arthur Kent is 68. Actor Maryam D’Abo is 61. Actor Ian Gomez is 57. Actor Theresa Randle is 57. Actor Eva LaRue is 55. Wrestler and actor Bill Goldberg is 55. Bluegrass singer-musician Darrin Vincent (Dailey & Vincent) is 52. Rock musician Guthrie Govan is 50. Musician Matt Slocum is 49. Actor Wilson Cruz is 48. Actor Masi Oka is 47. Actor Aaron Stanford is 45. Actor Emilie de Ravin is 40. Actor Jay Ellis is 40. Christian rock musician James Mead (Kutless) is 39. Rock singer Hayley Williams (Paramore) is 33. Country singer Shay Mooney (Dan & Shay) is 30. Actor Timothee Chalamet is 26.