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Today in History - December 27
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    Today is Thursday, Dec. 27, the 361st day of 2007. There are four days left in the year.
    Today’s Highlight in History:
    On Dec. 27, 1932, Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City.
    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 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 1945, 28 nations signed an agreement creating the World Bank.
    In 1947, the children’s TV program ‘‘The Howdy Doody Show’’ made its debut on NBC under the title ‘‘Puppet Playhouse.’’
    In 1949, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands signed an act granting sovereignty to Indonesia 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 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 four of the attackers, who were slain by police and security personnel.
    Ten years ago: Billy Wright, Northern Ireland’s most notorious Protestant militant, was shot to death by three members of the Irish National Liberation Army at the Maze Prison outside Belfast.
    Five years ago: 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. But the U.N. nuclear watchdog said its inspectors were ‘‘staying put’’ for the time being. A suicide truck-bomb attack destroyed the headquarters of Chechnya’s Moscow-backed government, killing 72 people. Clonaid, a company founded by a religious sect that believes in space aliens, announced it had produced the world’s first cloned baby, a claim subsequently dismissed by scientists for lack of proof. Oscar-winning director George Roy Hill died in New York at age 81.
    One year 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 Web site 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 had planned after his campaign accidentally went live with his election Web site a day before his scheduled announcement.
    Today’s Birthdays: Former U.S. Sen. James A. McClure, R-Idaho, is 83. Rockabilly musician Scotty Moore is 76. Actor John Amos is 68. ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts is 64. Rock musician Mick Jones (Foreigner) is 63. Singer Tracy Nelson is 63. Actor Gerard Depardieu is 59. Jazz singer-musician T.S. Monk is 58. Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff is 56. Actress Tovah Feldshuh is 55. Rock musician David Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 55. Actress Maryam D’Abo is 47. Country musician Jeff Bryant is 45. Actress Theresa Randle is 43. Actress Eva LaRue is 41. Rock musician Guthrie Govan (Asia) is 36. Musician Matt Slocum is 35. Actor Wilson Cruz is 34. Singer Olu is 34. Actor Masi Oka is 33. Actress Emilie de Ravin is 26. Christian rock musician James Mead (Kutless) is 25.
    Thought for Today: ‘‘Few things are more mischievous to good government and to ‘domestic tranquility’ than splendid rhetoric that doesn’t pay off.’’ — Alistair Cooke, journalist and broadcaster (1908-2004).

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