Today is Friday, Dec. 27, the 361st day of 2019. 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 1822, scientist Louis Pasteur was born in Dole, France.
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 1945, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were formally established.
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 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 (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 1994, four Roman Catholic priests — three French and a Belgian — were shot to death in their rectory in Algiers, a day after French commandos killed four radicals who’d hijacked an Air France jet from Algiers to Marseille.
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 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: Iranian security forces fired on Tehran protesters, killing at least eight and launching a new wave of arrests.
Five years ago: North Korea blamed its recent internet outage on the United States and hurled racially charged insults at President Barack Obama over the hacking row involving the movie “The Interview.” Mehmet Ali Agca (MEH’-met AH’-lee AH’-juh), the Turkish gunman who shot and wounded John Paul II in 1981, laid white flowers on the saint’s tomb in St. Peter’s Basilica.
One year ago: LeBron James was selected as The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for the third time, after reaching the NBA Finals for the eighth consecutive year. Richard Overton, the nation’s oldest living world War II veteran who was also believed to be the oldest living man in the U.S., died in Texas at the age of 112. President Donald Trump tweeted that the shooting death of a California police officer, allegedly by a man who was in the country illegally, showed the need for a border crackdown.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Amos is 80. Rock musician Mick Jones (Foreigner) is 75. Singer Tracy Nelson is 75. Actor Gerard Depardieu is 71. Jazz singer-musician T.S. Monk is 70. Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff is 68. Rock musician David Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 67. Actress Tovah Feldshuh is 66. Journalist-turned-politician Arthur Kent is 66. Actress Maryam D’Abo is 59. Country musician Jeff Bryant is 57. Actor Ian Gomez is 55. Actress Theresa Randle is 55. Actress Eva LaRue is 53. Wrestler and actor Bill Goldberg is 53. Actress Tracey Cherelle Jones is 50. Bluegrass singer-musician Darrin Vincent (Dailey & Vincent) is 50. Rock musician Guthrie Govan is 48. Musician Matt Slocum is 47. Actor Wilson Cruz is 46. Singer Olu is 46. Actor Masi Oka is 45. Actor Aaron Stanford is 43. Actress Emilie de Ravin is 38. Actor Jay Ellis is 38. Christian rock musician James Mead (Kutless) is 37. Rock singer Hayley Williams (Paramore) is 31. Country singer Shay Mooney (Dan & Shay) is 28. Actor Timothee Chalamet is 24.
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).