This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1947, a B-29 bomber missing from Ladd Field, Fairbanks for four days was sighted on the northern Seward Peninsula. Six out of 11 survived the crash.

• In 1955, the eight crewmen of an Air Force C-119 "Flying Boxcar" escaped death as the aircraft crashed on takeoff at the Sparrevohn Radar Base in Western Alaska.

• In 1965, Vice President Hubert Humphrey stopped in Anchorage for 45 minutes en route to the Far East.

In the nation

• In 1831, naturalist Charles Darwin set out on a voyage to the Pacific aboard the H.M.S. Beagle. (Darwin's discoveries during the trip helped to form the basis of his theories on evolution.)

• In 1900, militant prohibitionist Carry A. Nation carried out her first public smashing of a bar, at the Carey Hotel in Wichita, Kan.

• 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.

• In 1968, Apollo 8 and its three astronauts made a safe, nighttime splashdown in the Pacific.

• In 1985, American naturalist Dian Fossey, who had studied gorillas in the wild, was found hacked to death at a research station in Rwanda.

• In 2000, software engineer Michael McDermott pleaded innocent to seven counts of murder in the shooting deaths of seven co-workers the day before at an Internet consulting company in Wakefield, Mass. (McDermott was later convicted and sentenced to life without parole.)

In the world

• 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, 28 nations signed an agreement creating the World Bank.

• 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 five of the attackers, who were slain by police and security personnel.

• 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 2004, 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 in the country.

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