There are four days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
- On Dec. 27, 1968, Apollo 8 and its three astronauts made a safe, nighttime splashdown in the Pacific.
On this date:
- 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 1932, Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City.
- 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 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 1978, Algerian President Houari Boumediene, one of the Third World's most prominent and outspoken leaders, died after 40 days in a coma.
- 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:
- Six inmates, including four convicted killers, escaped from Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Tennessee. (All were recaptured by the end of the next day.)
- A week after she was born weighing just 10.3 ounces, the smallest of the Houston octuplets (Chijindu Chidera Louis) died from heart and lung failure.
Five years ago:
- Coordinated rebel assaults in Karbala, Iraq, killed 13 people, including six coalition soldiers.
- Actor Alan Bates died in London at age 69.
One year ago:
- Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in Pakistan by an attacker who shot her after a campaign rally and then blew himself up.
- Kenya held an election pitting incumbent president Mwai Kibaki against opposition candidate Raila Odinga; both candidates ended up claiming victory in a vote that observers said was seriously flawed.
- Former U.S. Sen. James A. McClure, R-Idaho, is 84.
- Rockabilly musician Scotty Moore is 77.
- Actor John Amos is 69.
- ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts is 65.
- Rock musician Mick Jones (Foreigner) is 64.
- Singer Tracy Nelson is 64.
- Actor Gerard Depardieu is 60.
- Jazz singer-musician T.S. Monk is 59.
- Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff is 57.
- Actress Tovah Feldshuh is 56.
- Rock musician David Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 56.
- Journalist-turned-politician Arthur Kent is 55.
- Actress Maryam D'Abo is 48.
- Country musician Jeff Bryant is 46.
- Actor Ian Gomez is 44.
- Actress Theresa Randle is 44.
- Actress Eva LaRue is 42.
- Bluegrass singer-musician Darrin Vincent (Dailey & Vincent) is 39.
- Rock musician Guthrie Govan (Asia) is 37.
- Musician Matt Slocum is 36.
- Actor Wilson Cruz is 35.
- Singer Olu is 35. Actor Masi Oka is 34.
- Actress Emilie de Ravin is 27.
- Christian rock musician James Mead (Kutless) is 26.
- Rock singer Hayley Williams (Paramore) is 20.
Thought for Today:
"I'm not young enough to know everything."
Sir James Matthew Barrie, Scottish dramatist-author (1860-1937).
"Let's all be careful out there!"