By The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, Dec. 27, the 361st day of 2018. There are four days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 27, 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.
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 1945, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were formally established.
In 1947, the original version of the puppet character Howdy Doody made his TV debut on NBC’s “Puppet Playhouse.”
In 1949, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands signed an act recognizing Indonesia’s sovereignty after more than three centuries of Dutch rule.
In 1968, Apollo 8 and its three astronauts made a safe, nighttime splashdown in the Pacific.
In 1970, the musical play “Hello, Dolly!” closed on Broadway after a run of 2,844 performances.
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 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 one million Palestinian residents and one-third of its land.
In 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.
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: 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.
Five years ago: Connecticut police released thousands of pages from their investigation into the Newtown massacre, providing the most detailed and disturbing picture yet of the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.
One year ago: Freezing temperatures and below-zero wind chills socked much of the northern United States. Houston Astros star second baseman Jose Altuve was named AP Male Athlete of the Year after leading the team to its first World Series title. A power outage struck parts of Disneyland in California, forcing some guests to be escorted from stalled rides.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Amos is 79. ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts is 75. Rock musician Mick Jones (Foreigner) is 74. Singer Tracy Nelson is 74. Actor Gerard Depardieu is 70. Jazz singer-musician T.S. Monk is 69. Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff is 67. Rock musician David Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 66. Actress Tovah Feldshuh is 65. Journalist-turned-politician Arthur Kent is 65. Actress Maryam D’Abo is 58. Country musician Jeff Bryant is 56. Actor Ian Gomez is 54. Actress Theresa Randle is 54. Actress Eva LaRue is 52. Wrestler and actor Bill Goldberg is 52. Actress Tracey Cherelle Jones is 49. Bluegrass singer-musician Darrin Vincent (Dailey & Vincent) is 49. Rock musician Guthrie Govan is 47. Musician Matt Slocum is 46. Actor Wilson Cruz is 45. Singer Olu is 45. Actor Masi Oka is 44. Actor Aaron Stanford is 42. Actress Emilie de Ravin is 37. Actor Jay Ellis is 37. Christian rock musician James Mead (Kutless) is 36. Rock singer Hayley Williams (Paramore) is 30. Country singer Shay Mooney (Dan & Shay) is 27. Actor Timothee Chalamet is 23.
Thought for Today: “A dollar saved is a quarter earned.” — Oscar Levant, American composer, musician, actor (born this date in 1906, died in 1972).