December 27

1512: The laws of Burgos give New World natives legal protection against abuse and authorize Negro slavery.

1831: HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin on board, departs from Plymouth. It will eventually visit the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin will form his theories on evolution.

1862: Union Gen. William Rosecrans’ army begins moving slowly toward Murfreesboro, Tennessee, from Nashville.

1913: Charles Moyer, president of the Miners Union, is shot in the back and dragged through the streets of Chicago.

1915: In Ohio, iron and steel workers go on strike for an eight-hour day and higher wages.

1932: Radio City Music Hall opens.

1933: Josef Stalin calls tensions with Japan a grave danger.

1939: A series of vicious earthquakes take 11,000 lives in Turkey.

1941: Japanese bombers attack Manila, despite its claim as an open city.

1944: Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army, spearheaded by the 4th Armored Division, relieves the surrounded city of Bastogne in Belgium.

1945: The International Monetary Fund and the Bank for Reconstruction and Development are created.

1947: The new Italian constitution is promulgated in Rome.

1950: The United States and Spain resume relations for the first time since the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s.

1956: Segregation on buses in Tallahassee, Florida, is outlawed.

1968: The United States agrees to sell F-4 Phantom jets to Israel.

1979: President Hafizullah Amin of Afghanistan is ousted and murdered in a coup backed by the Soviet Union, beginning a war that will last more than 10 years.

1983: President Ronald Reagan takes all responsibility for the lack of security in Beirut that allowed a terrorist on a suicide mission to kill 241 Marines.

1984: Four Polish officers are tried for the slaying of the Rev. Jerzy Popieluszko.

1985: Palestinian guerrillas kill 18 people at airports in Rome and Vienna.

1996: Taliban forces retake strategic Bagram Airfield during Afghan civil war.

2001: China receives permanent normal trade relations with the U.S.

2004: Radiation reaches Earth from the brightest extrasolar event ever witnessed, an explosion of magnetar SGR 1806-20.

2007: After Mwai Kibaki is declared the winner of Kenya’s presidential elections, rioting begins in Mombasa, precipitating an economic, humanitarian and political crisis.

2007: Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto assassinated.

Born on December 27

1571: Johannes Kepler, German astronomer and mathematician.

1822: Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist.

1829: Hinton Helper, southern abolitionist who wrote “The Impending Crisis.”

1901: Marlene Dietrich, German-born singer and actress.

1919: Maj. Gen. Charles Sweeney, the pilot of Bocks Car, the B-29 that dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.

1943: Cokie Roberts, American broadcast journalist.

1948: Gerard Depardieu, one of the most prolific character actors in film history; won two Cesar awards from France’s Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema and a Golden Globe (“Green Card,” “Cyrano de Bergerac”).

1962: Bill Self, college men’s basketball coach; named the National Coach of the Year in 2000, 2009 and 2011 by The Sporting News and Associated Press National Coach of the Year 2009.

1971: Savannah Guthrie, journalist; co-host of NBC’s “The Today Show.”

1975: Heather O’Rourke, child actress discovered at age 5 by Stephen Spielberg; she died at age 12 (“Poltergeist” film series).

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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