Today is Tuesday, Dec. 27, the 361st day of 2011. 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 play "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 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 1981, composer and bandleader Hoagy Carmichael ("Stardust") died in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at age 82.
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 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: 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. President George W. Bush extended permanent normal trade status to China. India and Pakistan engaged in diplomatic tit-for-tat, ordering half of each other's embassy staffs sent home and banning overflights by each other's national airlines.
Five years ago: Saddam Hussein urged Iraqis to embrace "brotherly coexistence" and not to hate U.S.-led foreign troops in a goodbye letter posted on a website a day after Iraq's highest court upheld his death sentence. Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards jumped into the presidential race a day earlier than he'd planned after his campaign accidentally went live with his election website a day before his scheduled announcement.
One year ago: A Russian court found imprisoned oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky (khoh-dohr-KAHV'-skee) guilty of stealing nearly $30 billion in oil from his company, Yukos. (His supporters have charged that Khodorkovsky's prosecution was politically motivated.) Economist and former government official Alfred E. Kahn, known as "the father of airline deregulation," died in Ithaca, N.Y., at age 93.
Today's Birthdays: Rockabilly musician Scotty Moore is 80. Actor John Amos is 72. Actress Charmian Carr (Film: "The Sound of Music") is 69. ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts is 68. Rock musician Mick Jones (Foreigner) is 67. Singer Tracy Nelson is 67. Actor Gerard Depardieu is 63. Jazz singer-musician T.S. Monk is 62. Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff is 60. Actress Tovah Feldshuh is 59. Rock musician David Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 59. Journalist-turned-politician Arthur Kent is 58. Actress Maryam D'Abo is 51. Country musician Jeff Bryant is 49. Actor Ian Gomez is 47. Actress Theresa Randle is 47. Actress Eva LaRue is 45. Former professional wrestler and actor Bill Goldberg is 45. Actress Tracey Cherelle Jones is 42. Bluegrass singer-musician Darrin Vincent (Dailey & Vincent) is 42. Rock musician Guthrie Govan is 40. Musician Matt Slocum is 39. Actor Wilson Cruz is 38. Singer Olu is 38. Actor Masi Oka is 37. Actor Aaron Stanford is 35. Actress Emilie de Ravin is 30. Christian rock musician James Mead (Kutless) is 29. Rock singer Hayley Williams (Paramore) is 23.
Thought for Today: "Man has an incurable habit of not fulfilling the prophecies of his fellow men." _ Alistair Cooke, Anglo-American journalist and broadcaster (1908-2004).
(Above Advance for Use Tuesday, Dec. 27)
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.