Today is Sunday, Dec. 27, the 361st day of 2009. There are four days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Dec. 27, 1968, Apollo 8 and its three astronauts made a safe, nighttime splashdown in the Pacific.
On this date:
In 1831, naturalist Charles Darwin set out on a round-the-world voyage aboard the HMS Beagle.
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 1927, the musical "Show Boat," with music by Jerome Kern and libretto by Oscar Hammerstein II, opened at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York.
In 1932, Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City.
In 1945, 28 nations signed an agreement creating the World Bank.
In 1949, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands signed an act recognizing Indonesia's sovereignty after more than three centuries of Dutch rule.
In 1959, the Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants 31-16 to win the NFL championship.
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; a total of 20 people were killed, including four of the attackers, who were slain by police and security personnel.
In 2007, opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in Pakistan by an attacker who shot her after a campaign rally and then blew himself up.
Ten years ago: Space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew returned to Earth after fixing the Hubble Space Telescope. Former television executive Leonard H. Goldenson, who'd built ABC into a network powerhouse, died in Longboat Key, Fla., at age 94.
Five years ago: The death toll continued to rise in southern Asia in the wake of a huge tsunami triggered by a monster earthquake underneath the Indian Ocean. Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko declared victory in Ukraine's fiercely contested presidential election. In an audiotape, a man purported to be Osama bin Laden endorsed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as his deputy in Iraq and called for a boycott of January's elections.
One year ago: Israel bombed security sites in Hamas-ruled Gaza in retaliation for rocket fire aimed at civilians in southern Israeli towns, opening one of the Mideast conflict's bloodiest assaults in decades. Tens of thousands of people in Pakistan paid homage to Benazir Bhutto on the one-year anniversary of her assassination. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter Bristol gave birth to a son, Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston. Sculptor Robert Graham died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 70.
Today's Birthdays: Former U.S. Sen. James A. McClure, R-Idaho, is 85. Rockabilly musician Scotty Moore is 78. Actor John Amos is 70. Actress Charmian Carr ("The Sound of Music") is 67. ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts is 66. Rock musician Mick Jones (Foreigner) is 65. Singer Tracy Nelson is 65. Actor Gerard Depardieu is 61. Jazz singer-musician T.S. Monk is 60. Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff is 58. Actress Tovah Feldshuh is 57. Rock musician David Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 57. Journalist-turned-politician Arthur Kent is 56. Actress Maryam D'Abo is 49. Country musician Jeff Bryant is 47. Actor Ian Gomez is 45. Actress Theresa Randle is 45. Actress Eva LaRue is 43. Pro wrestler and actor Bill Goldberg is 43. Actress Tracey Cherelle Jones is 40. Bluegrass singer-musician Darrin Vincent (Dailey & Vincent) is 40. Rock musician Guthrie Govan is 38. Musician Matt Slocum is 37. Actor Wilson Cruz is 36. Singer Olu is 36. Actor Masi Oka is 35. Actress Emilie de Ravin is 28. Christian rock musician James Mead (Kutless) is 27. Rock singer Hayley Williams (Paramore) is 21.
Thought for Today: "Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense." _ Gertrude Stein, American author (1874-1946).