December 27 in history


On December 27:

537  The Hagia Sophia was completed.

Hagia Sophia

1571 Johannes Kepler, German astronomer, was born.

1773  George Cayley, English scientist, inventor, and politician, was born.

1822 Louis Pasteur, French scientist, was born.

1831 Charles Darwin embarked on his journey aboard the HMS Beagle.

Charles Darwin
Three quarter length studio photo showing Darwin's characteristic large forehead and bushy eyebrows with deep set eyes, pug nose and mouth set in a determined look. He is bald on top, with dark hair and long side whiskers but no beard or moustache. His jacket is dark, with very wide lapels, and his trousers are a light check pattern. His shirt has an upright wing collar, and his cravat is tucked into his waistcoat which is a light fine checked=

 1836 The worst ever avalanche in England occured at Lewes, Sussex, killing 8 people.

1845  Ether anesthetic was used for childbirth for the first time by Dr. Crawford Williamson Long in Jefferson, Georgia.


1901 Marlene Dietrich, German actress and singer, was born.

1915 William Masters, American gynecologist, was born.

1918 The Great Poland Uprising against the Germans began.

 Soldiers of the Greater Polish Army

1922  Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō became the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world.

Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō

1932  Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City.

Radio City Music Hall Factbook.jpgFront facade of the Radio City Music Hall

1941 Michael Pinder, British musician (Moody Blues), was born.

1943 Joan Manuel Serrat, Spanish musician, was born.

1945  The World Bank was created with the signing of an agreement by 28 nations.

1948 Gérard Depardieu, French actor, was born.

1949 Indonesian National Revolution: The Netherlands officially recognised Indonesian independence.

1968 Apollo Program: Apollo 8 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon.

1951 Ernesto Zedillo, President of Mexico, was born.

1955 Brad Murphey, Australian racing driver, was born.

1978 Spain became a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.

1979  Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

1987 Rewi Alley, friend of China, died of heart failure and cerebral thrombosis at his Beijing residence.

 2001  The People’s Republic of China was granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States.

2004 Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reached Earth – the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.

SGR 1806-20 108685main SRB1806 20rev2.jpg This is where SGR 1806-20 would appear in the sky if it were visible to human eyes.

  • 2007 – Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by a suicide bomber.
  • Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

    December 25 in history


    On December 25:

    800 Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome.

    1000 Hungary was established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary.

    1066  William the Conqueror was crowned as king of England, at Westminster Abbey.

    1000 Baldwin of Boulogne is crowned as the first King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity.

    1130  Count Roger II of Sicily was crowned as the first King of Sicily.

     Detail of the mosaic with Roger II receiving the crown by Christ, Martorana, Palermo.

    1223 St. Francis of Assisi assembles the first Nativity scene.

    Painting by Jusepe de Ribera

    1643  Christmas Island was founded and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company vessel, the Royal Mary.

    1814 At Oihi Beach in the Bay of Islands, Samuel Marsden preached in English to a largely Maori gathering, launching the Christian missionary phase of New Zealand history. Marsden’s service was translated by the Nga Puhi leader Ruatara.

    NZ's first Christian service?

    1818 The first performance of “Silent Night” took place in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria.

     Autograph of the carol by  Franz Xaver Gruber.

    1821  Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was born.


     1865 Evangeline Booth, the 4th General of The Salvation Army, was born.


    1870 Helena Rubinstein, Polish-born American cosmetics industrialist, was born.

    1887 Conrad Hilton, American hotelier, was born.

    1889 Lila Bell Wallace, American magazine publisher (Reader’s Digest), was born.

    1890  Robert Ripley, collector of odd facts, was born.

     Ripley’s Odditorium in Hollywood

    1899 Humphrey Bogart, American actor, was born.

    1908 Quentin Crisp, English author, was born.

    1913  Tony Martin, American singer and actor, was born.

    1914 James Muir Cameron Fletcher, New Zealand industrialist, was born.

    1918 Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, Nobel laureate, was born.

    1918 Ahmed Ben Bella, politician, first President of Algeria, was born.

     Ben Bella (right) after his arrest by the French army

    1932  A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Gansu, China kills ~70,000 people.

    1941 Battle of Hong Kong ended, beginning the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong.

    1944 Kenny Everett, British entertainer, was born.

    Kenny Everett.jpg

    1947 The Constitution of the Republic of China went into effect.

    1949  Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan was born.

    1949 Sissy Spacek, American actress, was born.

    1950 The Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of British monarchs, was taken from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students.


    1950 Karl Rove, former American presidential advisor, was born.

    1954 Annie Lennox, Scottish singer, was born.

    1963 Turkish Cypriot Bayrak Radio began transmitting in Cyprus after Turkish Cypriots were forcibly excluded from Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.

    1968 Apollo 8 performed the  first successful Trans Earth Injection (TEI) maneouver, sending the crew and spacecraft on a trajectory back to Earth from Lunar orbit.

    1989  Nicolae Ceauşescu, former communist dictator of Romania and his wife Elena are condemned to death and executed under a wide range of charges.


    1990 The first successful trial run of the system which would become the World Wide Web.
     The Web’s historic logo designed by Robert Cailliau
    1991  Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as president of the Soviet Union (the union itself is dissolved the next day).
    1991 Ukraine‘s referendum was finalized and Ukraine officially left the Soviet Union.
  • 2003 – The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe, released from the Mars Express Spacecraft on December 19, disappeared shortly before its scheduled landing.
  • Beagle 2 replica.jpg

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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