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On this day: December 27

Published On: Dec 26 2012 03:53:05 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 27 2013 02:00:00 AM EST

Charles Darwin embarks on the HMS Beagle, "Howdy Doody" makes its TV debut, Apollo 8 splashes down after orbiting the Moon, and the Soviet Union occupies Afghanistan, all on this day.

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1571: German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler, a key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution best known for his laws of planetary motion, is born at the Free Imperial City of Weil der Stadt (now part of the Stuttgart Region in the German state of Baden-Württemberg).

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