History: December 27

December 27

1571 Birth: Johannes Kepler. Founder of modern optics, will formulate eyeglass design for nearsightedness and farsightedness, will coin the term - Dioptrice, describing real, virtual, upright and inverted images and magnification, and he will discover the properties of total internal reflection.

Kepler, Astronomer: First to correctly explain planetary motion with his Three Laws; will use stellar parallax caused by the Earth’s orbit to measure distance to the stars; will suggest that the Sun rotates about its axis, that tides are caused by the Moon.

Kepler, Will form the basis of integral calculus. Writer: Astronomia Pars Optica, Dioptrice, Stereometrica Doliorum.

1703 England and Portugal sign the Methuen Treaty, under which the Portuguese agree to admit English textiles, which they had previously prohibited, and the English agree to import wines at a duty rate lower than that imposed on French wines.

1773 Birth: Sir George Cayley. Scientist; ‘the father of aerodynamics’, will design gliders, helicopters, and airplanes. Pilot; will make the first manned glider flight, though not, presumably, in the contraption we see above.

1822 Birth: Louis Pasteur, in Dole, France, bacteriologist, chemist, scientist, will develop the pasteurization process, rabies vaccination.

1831 The British Admiralty survey ship HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, gets underway from Plymouth on its scientific voyage round the globe.

1845 Dr. Crawford Williamson Long utilizes anesthesia for childbirth for the first time, when he delivers his own child in Jefferson, Georgia.

1861 US Civil War: In Britain, Lord Palmerston agrees with Russell's suggestion to put an embargo on supply of arms to the North, though not to the South.

1899 American Christian temperance leader Carry Nation, 53, raids and wrecks her first saloon in Medicine Lodge, KA. She breaks each and every one of the liquor bottles behind the bar. She will go on similar rampages in Wichita and Topeka, and in other cities in Iowa and Illinois as well. Nation favorite tool in her fight against the devils brew is a hatchet; calling her vandalism, hatchetation.

1918 Russian Revolution: Admiral Kolchak is proclaimed "Supreme Governor" of Russia by the White Guard and the remote city of Omsk in Siberia is declared to be Russia's "capital." Allied governments begin supplying arms, ammunittion and equipment to the Whites on a large scale.

1918 Weimar: Anton Drexler begins urging the other members of the Political Worker's Circle to found their own political party. (Bundesarchiv, Koblenz)

1918 Volkishness: Eberhard von Brockhusen writes a letter to General Heimerdinger asking to be relieved of his office as Grand Master of the loyalist Germanenorden. (Bundesarchiv, Koblenz; Roots)

1923 Weimar: Designer Willy Messerschmitt opens an aircraft manufacturing plant at Augsburg, Germany. Three years later he will produce his first all-metal plane.

1927 Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, marking a victory by Stalin in a power struggle.

1928 Weimar: Monsignor Ludwig Kaas, a German, Catholic priest and former professor of canon law at Trier, is elected Chairman of the Catholic Center Party.

1928 Harriman and Company becomes the chief organizer of a huge engineering program that will modernize Soviet heavy Industry. Harriman furnishes securities for all the Soviet purchases in the United States and collects generous commissions for his services.

1928 Weimar: Henry Ford merges his German assets with those of I.G. Farben. (Sutton)

1929 Weimar: Heinrich Bruening, a financial expert supported by Monsignor Kaas, becomes leader of the Catholic Center Party, and its right-wing members assume control.

1932 A famine in Russia brings mounting opposition to Stalin within his own party. Brutally suppressing the peasant resistance, Stalin refuses to slacken the pace of his collectivization.

1934 Holocaust: The French Foreign Office refuses to issue transit visas for Thousands of Jews fleeing Germany. (Edelheit)

1936 Spanish Civil War: The Basque autonomous government, headquartered in Guernica, seizes a German vessel in Spainish waters. It will be released two days later.

1936 Spanish Civil War: Britain and France agree on a mutual policy of nonintervention in the Spanish civil war.

1939 WW2: The First Indian army troops join the British Expeditionary Force in France.

1939 Holocaust: Mass execution by Nazis of 170 men and boys at Wawer near Warsaw.

1940 WW2: The German raider Komet shells a phosphate plant on the island of Naru in the central Pacific while flying a Japanese flag.

1941 WW2: Japanese warplanes bomb Manila in the Philippines, even though it has been declared an 'open city.' Wave after wave of Japanese aircraft strike the city and continue throughout the following day.

1943 The Secret Diary of Anti-Hitler Conspirator Ulrich von Hassel: (Ebenhausen) "But more important than all this is the fact that in the week before Christmas, according to all assurances, there was, for the first time, a real prospect of reaching the goal. How often this has been claimed. My belief in the report was weak enough. But the assertion of serious people sounded so convincing that I really began to take the matter seriously. A few days before my departure, the setback came: "Postponed until January." Reason: "Because Hitler has taken off somewhere." In the decisive days, Pfaff (Goerdeler) was with me repeatedly and was in an understandable fury after the thing had been called off. The Josephs (the generals) would never make up their minds, but would first let things come to a full catastrophe. After a two day long wait in vain with Wuffi, I had a long satisfactory talk with Sophie's nephew on December 15, 1943, who again made a good impression on me, and who is very active."

1944 WW2: The British XXX Corps drives the 2nd Panzer Division out of Celles.

1945 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is established in Washington DC.

1945 Foreign ministers of Britain, US and USSR, meeting in Moscow, agree on a plan to govern Korea for five years.

1948 Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, Catholic primate of Hungary, is arrested for anti-Communist statements.

1949 Indonesia becomes legally independent from the Netherlands.

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

1951 A Crosley automobile, with a steering wheel on the right side, becomes the first such vehicle placed in service for mail delivery; in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1961 The first successfully hijacked aircraft lands in Havana after being diverted by its Cuban hijacker.

1965 The BP offshore self-elevating barge (oil rig) Sea Gem collapses, capsizes and sinks some 40 miles east of the mouth of the River Humber, in the North Sea, leaving 13 people dead.

1968 Apollo 8: The first manned mission to the moon returns safely to Earth after a historic six-day journey. On December 21, Apollo 8 was launched by a three-stage Saturn 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders aboard. On Christmas Eve, the astronauts entered into orbit around the moon, the first manned spacecraft ever to do so. During Apollo 8's ten lunar orbits, television images were sent back home and spectacular photos were taken of the Earth and the moon from the spacecraft.

In addition to being the first human beings to view first hand their home world in its entirety, the three astronauts were also the first to see the dark side of the moon. On Christmas morning, Apollo 8 left its lunar orbit and began its journey back to Earth, landing safely in the Pacific Ocean on this day.

1972 Belgium becomes the first NATO country to establish diplomatic relations with East Germany.

1974 FSLN (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional/Sandinista National Liberation Front) seizes government hostages at a private Managua party.

1978 King Juan Carlos ratifies Spain's first democratic constitution.

1979 Soviet troops invade Afghanistan. President Hafizullah Amin is overthrown and executed.

1983 Pope John Paul II pardons Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who shot him.

1984 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is the woman most admired by the American people, according to a Gallup Poll, marking the third consecutive year that the Iron Lady received the honor.

1984 Four police officers go on trial in Warsaw for the killing of pro-Solidarity priest Father Popieluszko.

1985 Terrorists kill 20 people and wound a further 110 when four Palestinian terrorists attack the El Al check-in counter at Rome's Fiumicino airport. A similar attack at Vienna's Schwechat airport leaves four dead, including one gunman. President Reagan blames the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.

1986 Corazon Aquino, President of the Philippines, is named TIME magazines Man of the Year. The only other women who had been so named were Queen Elizabeth II in 1952; and the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Warfield Simpson, in 1936.

1988 Bulgaria stops jamming Radio Free Europe after more than 3 decades.

1989 Egypt and Syria resume full diplomatic relations after a 12-year break.

1989 Go Johny Go: Chuck Berry is sued by the former cook of his restaurant for allegedly putting a video camera in the ladies' restroom.

1990 Gennady Yanayev is elected to the new post of Soviet vice president.

1992 A US jet shoots down an Iraqi fighter over southern Iraq's 'no-fly' zone in the first such incident since the Persian Gulf War.

1994 Four Roman Catholic priests are shot to death in their rectory in Algiers after French commandos kill four hijackers on an Air France jet.

1995 Israeli troops withdraw from Ramallah, completing the handover of six West Bank towns to the Palestinians.

1996 Rwanda's first genocide trial opens with the accused facing the death penalty for their part in the 1994 slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis.

1997 Britain's Windsor Castle is reopened to the public following restoration work. 100 rooms of the palace were damaged in a fire in 1992.

2001 India and Pakistan inch closer to the brink of war as both countries levy sanctions to diplomatic staff, and India announces it is banning Pakistani aircraft from its airspace.

2001 The White House dismisses the latest Osama bin Laden tape as "terrorist propaganda" after al -Jazeera TV plays the 34-minute video in its entirety. In the tape bin Laden says, "Those blessed strikes have inflicted on America, by its own admission ... more than $1 trillion in losses." Bin Laden continues to show his involvement in the September 11th attacks when he declares on the video, "Hurricanes blew to strike their castle and tell them: We won't stop the attacks until you leave our lands."

2001 US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the US plans to turn its navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into a detention center for al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners.












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