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This Day in History: December 27


1814 – War of 1812: The American schooner USS Carolina is destroyed. It was the last of Commodore Daniel Patterson's makeshift fleet that fought a series of delaying actions that contributed to Andrew Jackson's victory at the Battle of New Orleans.

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

1845 – Journalist John L. O'Sullivan, writing in his newspaper the New York Morning News, argues that the United States had the right to claim the entire Oregon Country "by the right of our manifest destiny".

1927 – Show Boat, considered to be the first true American musical play, opens at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway.

1932 – Radio City Music Hall, "Showplace of the Nation", opens in New York City.

1968 – Apollo program: Apollo 8 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon.

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


1906 – Oscar Levant, American pianist, composer, and actor (d. 1972)

1915 – William Masters, American gynecologist, author, and academic (d. 2001)

1943 – Cokie Roberts, American journalist and author

1970 – Chyna, American professional wrestler and actress (d. 2016)

1971 – Savannah Guthrie, American lawyer and journalist

1971 – Jason Hawes, American paranormal investigator and author, founded The Atlantic Paranormal Society


1836 – Stephen F. Austin, American soldier and politician (b. 1793)

1958 – Harry Warner, Polish-American film producer, co-founded Warner Bros. (b. 1881)

1974 – Amy Vanderbilt, American author (b. 1908)

1981 – Hoagy Carmichael, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor (b. 1899)

1982 – Jack Swigert, American pilot, astronaut, and politician (b. 1931)

2012 – Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., American general and engineer (b. 1934)

2015 – Meadowlark Lemon, American basketball player, actor, and minister (b. 1932)

2016     Carrie Fisher, American actress and writer (b. 1956)