updated 12/27/2004 12:31:14 AM ET 2004-12-27T05:31:14

Today is Monday, Dec. 27, the 362nd day of 2004. 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, 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 voyage to the Pacific aboard the HMS “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 1904, 100 years ago, 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.

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

In 1947, the children’s television program “Howdy Doody” made its debut on NBC.

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

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.

Ten years ago: Four Roman Catholic priests — three French and a Belgian — were shot to death in their rectory in Algiers, a day after French commandos killed four radicals who’d hijacked an Air France jet from Algiers to Marseille.

Five years ago: Space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew returned to Earth after fixing the Hubble Space Telescope. Former television executive Leonard H. Goldenson, who’d built ABC into a network powerhouse, died in Longboat Key, Fla., at age 94.

One year ago: Coordinated rebel assaults in Karbala, Iraq, killed 13 people, including six coalition soldiers. Actor Alan Bates died in London at age 69.

Today’s birthdays: Former U.S. Sen. James A. McClure, R-Idaho, is 80. Rockabilly musician Scotty Moore is 73. Actor John Amos is 63. ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts is 61. Singer Tracy Nelson is 60. Actor Gerard Depardieu is 56. Jazz singer-musician T.S. Monk is 55. Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff is 53. Rock musician David Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 52. Broadcast journalist Arthur Kent is 51. Actress Maryam D’Abo is 44. Country musician Jeff Bryant is 42. Actress Eva LaRue (“All My Children”) is 38. Musician Matt Slocum is 32. Actor Wilson Cruz is 31. Singer Olu is 31.

Quote of the day:  " I’m not young enough to know everything." — Sir James Matthew Barrie, Scottish dramatist-author (1860-1937).

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