Today in History: December 27, Soviets take Afghanistan

December 27, 2022 GMT

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 27, the 361st day of 2022. 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 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 1932, New York City’s Radio City Music Hall first opened.

In 1945, 28 nations signed an agreement creating the World Bank.

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 1985, Palestinian gunmen opened fire inside the Rome and Vienna airports in terrorist attacks that killed 19 people; four attackers 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 1 million Palestinian residents and one-third of its land.

In 1999, space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew returned to Earth after fixing the Hubble Space Telescope.

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.

In 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh AH’-bay), accompanied by President Barack Obama, visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, where he offered his “sincere and everlasting condolences to the souls of those who lost their lives” in Japan’s 1941 attack; Abe did not apologize, but conceded his country “must never repeat the horrors of war again.” Actor Carrie Fisher died in a hospital four days after suffering a medical emergency aboard a flight to Los Angeles; she was 60.

Ten years ago: An Indian-born man, Sunando Sen, was shoved to his death from a New York City subway platform; suspect Erika Menendez later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 24 years in prison. (Authorities say Menendez pushed Sen because she thought he was Muslim; Sen was Hindu.) Retired Army general Norman Schwarzkopf, 78, died in Tampa, Florida.

Five years 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.

One year ago: U.S. health officials cut isolation restrictions for asymptomatic Americans infected with the coronavirus from 10 to five days, and similarly shortened the time that close contacts needed to quarantine; officials said the guidance was in keeping with growing evidence that people with the coronavirus were most infectious in the two days before and the three days after symptoms developed. Defense officials said a U.S. Navy warship, the USS Milwaukee, remained in port in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with about two dozen sailors – or nearly a quarter of its crew – testing positive for COVID-19.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Amos is 83. Rock musician Mick Jones (Foreigner) is 78. Singer Tracy Nelson is 78. Actor Gerard Depardieu is 74. Jazz singer-musician T.S. Monk is 73. Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff is 71. Rock musician David Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 70. Actor Tovah Feldshuh is 69. Journalist-turned-politician Arthur Kent is 69. Actor Maryam D’Abo is 62. Actor Ian Gomez is 58. Actor Theresa Randle is 58. Actor Eva LaRue is 56. Wrestler and actor Bill Goldberg is 56. Bluegrass singer-musician Darrin Vincent (Dailey & Vincent) is 53. Rock musician Guthrie Govan is 51. Musician Matt Slocum is 50. Actor Wilson Cruz is 49. Actor Masi Oka is 48. Actor Aaron Stanford is 46. Actor Emilie de Ravin is 41. Actor Jay Ellis is 41. Christian rock musician James Mead (Kutless) is 40. Rock singer Hayley Williams (Paramore) is 34. Country singer Shay Mooney (Dan & Shay) is 31. Actor Timothee Chalamet is 27.