Today in History – Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015

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Today is Sunday, Dec. 27, the 361st day of 2015. There are 4 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1741 – Prussian forces take Olmutz, Czechoslovakia; Spanish troops land in Tuscany, Italy.

1794 – French troops invade Holland.

1831 – Naturalist Charles Darwin sets out on a voyage to the Pacific aboard the HMS Beagle. His discoveries during the voyage helped form the basis of his theories on evolution.

1927 – Joseph Stalin’s faction wins at All-Union Congress in Soviet Union, and Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Communist Party.

1932 – Radio City Music Hall opens in New York City.

1944 – In World War II, Soviet forces surround Budapest; U.S. forces smash across the German Bulge in Belgium and relieve U.S. troops under siege at Bastogne.

1945 – Foreign ministers of Britain, United States and Soviet Union meet in Moscow and call for provisional democratic government in Korea; the World Bank is created with an agreement signed by 28 nations.

1949 – The Netherlands’ Queen Juliana grants Indonesia sovereignty after more than three centuries of Dutch rule.

1956 – United Nations fleet begins clearing the Suez Canal after the Suez War.

1969 – Libya, Sudan and United Arab Republic (the short-lived union of Egypt and Syria) announce political, economic and military agreement in Tripoli.

1970 – The musical, “Hello, Dolly!” closes on Broadway after a run of 2,844 performances.

1972 – Australia halts military aid to South Vietnam, ending its involvement in the Vietnam War.

1979 – Soviet forces seize control of Afghanistan. President Hafizullah Amin, who was overthrown and executed, is replaced by Babrak Karmal.

1985 – Terrorists strike at holiday travelers in simultaneous attacks on Israel’s El Al airline at Rome and Vienna airports, killing 16 people and wounding more than 100.

1989 – U.S. soldiers blast rock music and news bulletins about Panama at Vatican embassy in Panama City in attempt to drive General Manuel Noriega from refuge there.

1992 – The United States shoots down an Iraqi fighter aircraft when two Iraqi warplanes “turned to confront” U.S. F-16 jets in U.N.-restricted airspace over southern Iraq.

1994 – Suspected Muslim militants in Algiers kill four Catholic priests.

1996 – Some 60,000 jubilant opposition supporters defy riot police to rally in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, buoyed by international mediators who upheld their victory over President Slobodan Milosevic in local elections.

1997 – Billy Wright, one of the most feared Protestant guerrilla leaders in Northern Ireland, is shot and killed in prison by inmates belonging to an Irish Republican Army splinter group.

1999 – Alfonso Portillo of the right-wing Guatemalan Republican Front wins the country’s first peacetime presidential election in nearly 40 years.

2002 – Three unidentified men driving a heavy military truck penetrate the defenses surrounding the pro-Russian government’s headquarters in Grozny, capital of Chechnya, and detonate more than a ton of explosives, killing 63 people and injuring 178.

2005 – Israeli aircraft fire missiles on two offices of the militant Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and an overpass the army says militants cross to reach launching grounds for rocket attacks.

2007 – Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, 54, is killed by an attacker who shot her after a campaign rally and then blew himself up. The government later says she died from a skull fracture suffered when her head slammed against her car. At least 20 others are also killed.

2010 – Corruption charges against one of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s most trusted political advisers provide the latest evidence of deep rifts within the Iranian president’s own conservative political camp.

2013 — South Sudan’s government agrees to end hostilities against rebels trying to overthrow it but the cease-fire is thrown into doubt because the head of the rebellion was not invited to talks.

2014 — North Korea blames US for Internet shutdown amid Sony hacking row, compares Obama to a monkey.

Today’s Birthdays:

Johannes Kepler, German astronomer (1571-1630); Louis Pasteur, French scientist (1822-1895); Louis Bromfield, U.S. novelist (1896-1956); Marlene

Dietrich, German actress (1901-1992); John Amos, U.S. actor (1939–); Cokie Roberts, U.S. newsperson (1943–); Gerard Depardieu, French actor (1948–); T.S. Monk, jazz drummer/vocalist (1949–).

Thought For Today:

Some men rob you with a six-gun — others rob you with a fountain pen. Woody Guthrie — American Singer/Songwriter (1912-1967).

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