It happened today – on this day in history – December 27

1571: Birth of German astronomer Johannes Kepler.

1831: HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin on board departs England for a survey of South America.

1904: “Peter Pan” by J. M. Barrie premieres at the Duke of York Theatre, London.

1923: Emperor Hirohito of Japan narrowly evades an assassination attempt by a Korean independence activist.

1924: Albania is declared a dictatorship under Ahmed Beg Zofu.

1934: Persia becomes Iran.

1941: Japan bombs Manila even though it had been declared an “open city”.

1943: The German warship “Scharnhorst” sinks in the Barents Sea.

1945: The International Monetary Fund is formally established by 29 member countries based on ideas of economists Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes.

1949: Queen Juliana of the Netherlands grants independence to Indonesia.

1965: Britain’s first North Sea drilling rig collapses, killing 13 men.

1966: Manchester United midfielder Bobby Charlton wins the Ballon d’Or.

1975: Steven Morrissey – yes THAT Steven Morrissey – has a letter published in the NME, complaining about the lack of media coverage for the New York Dolls.

1978: Spain becomes a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship as King Juan Carlos ratifies Spain’s first democratic constitution. On the same day, Hamburg forward Kevin Keegan wins the Ballon d’Or.


1979: Soviet forces stage a coup in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing President Hafizullah Amin.

1981: Australian bowler Denis Lillee becomes the leading wicket-taker in test cricket with 310. On the same day, songwriter Hoagy Carmichael dies aged 82.

1985: Simultaneous twin terrorist attacks at Rome and Vienna airports result in 18 deaths.

1992: Singles chart:

  1. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
  2. Heal The World – Michael Jackson
  3. Would I Lie To You – Charles and Eddie
  4. Could It Be Magic – Take That
  5. Slam Jam – WWF Superstars
  6. Phorever People – The Shamen
  7. Boney M Megamix – Boney M
  8. Tom Traubert’s Blues – Rod Stewart
  9. Miami Hit Mix – Gloria Estefan
  10. Someday (I’m Coming Back) – Lisa Stansfield
1992: The Freddie Mercury Album

Album chart:

  1. Greatest Hits 1965-1992 – Cher
  2. Greatest Hits – Gloria Estefan
  3. Timeless (The Classics) – Michael Bolton
  4. POP! The First 20 Hits – Erasure
  5. Live: The Way We Walk Vol 1: The Shorts – Genesis
  6. Glittering Prize 81/92 – Simple Minds
  7. The Freddie Mercury Album – Freddie Mercury
  8. Stars – Simply Red
  9. Take That & Party – Take That
  10. Gold: Greatest Hits – ABBA

1997: Leading protestant paramilitary, Billy Wright, is shot dead at the maximum security Maze prison in Northern Ireland.

2002: Film director George Roy Hill dies aged 79.

2004: Ukraine’s “orange revolutionaries” celebrate as opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko is declared winner of the presidential election.

2007: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated by a suicide bomber in Rawalpindi.

2008: Singer-songwriter,/guitarist, Delaney Bramlett dies from complications after gall bladder surgery.

2015: Harlem Globetrotters legend Meadowlark Lemmon, dies aged 83.

2016: Actress/author Carrie Fisher dies four days after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles.

BIRTHDAYS: John Amos, actor, 81; Mike Pinder, keyvoards (The Moody Blues) 79; Mike Heron, singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist (The Incredible String Band) 78; Mick Jones, guitarist/songwriter, (Foreigner) 76; Janet Street-Porter, TV personality, 74; Gérard Depardieu, actor, 72; Terry Bozzio, drummer (Frank Zappa/UK), 70; Youth (Martin Glover) record producer/bassist (Killing Joke) 60; Maryam D’Abo, actress, 60; Duncan Ferguson, former footballer/Everton assistant coach, 49; Emilie de Ravin, actress, 39; David Dunn, footballer, 39; Lily Cole, model/actress, 33; Hayley Williams, singer-songwriter (Paramore) 32; Timothée Chalamet, actor, 25.