Today In History Spotlights Dec 27, 1620, The Pilgrims Land in Plymouth

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Today’s History Spotlight

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The Pilgrims land in Plymouth, present-day Massachusetts. At the height of the Protestant Reformation, many seeking freedom from religious persecution at the hands of Catholic-dominated England fled to the North American continent.

Tradition has it that the Pilgrims stepped ashore at the location of Plymouth Rock, and signed the Mayflower Compact, which called for “just and equal laws for the general good of the colony.” What followed was a series of both successful and controversial events. At times, the Pilgrims and Natives would coexist, but at other times, death and violent assault would occur at the hands of both. Nonetheless, Plymouth Rock holds its place in history to many as the birthplace of American heritage.

What Happened On This Day – December 27

  • 2007 Benazir Bhutto assassinated. The former Prime Minister of Pakistan was killed after a shooting and the detonation of a suicide bomb while campaigning for the upcoming elections in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
  • 1949 Indonesian Independence. The Southeast Asian country’s independence came after 4 years of revolution and struggle. In August 1945, Sukarno signed the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence, which was formally accepted and recognized by the Dutch in 1949.
  • 1918 Greater Poland Uprising of 1918–1919 begins. The revolt against the Germans began in Poznań after a speech by the Polish Prime Minster, Ignacy Paderewski. The uprising led to newer territory being added to Poland in the Treaty of Versailles.
  • 1845 Anesthesia used for the first time for childbirth. Dr. Crawford W. Long, an American physician, gave ether to his wife during the birth of their second child. The event revolutionalized the use of anesthesia in medicine and surgery.
  • 1831 Charles Darwin begins his journey on the HMS Beagle. It was during this 5-year long voyage that the English naturalist worked on his Theory of Evolution. He published the evidence supporting it in his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species.

Births On This Day – December 27

  • 1980 Antonio Cesaro – Swiss wrestler
  • 1948 Gérard Depardieu – French actor
  • 1901 Marlene Dietrich – German/American actress, singer
  • 1822 Louis Pasteur – French chemist, microbiologist
  • 1571 Johannes Kepler – German astronomer

Deaths On This Day – December 27

  • 2007 Benazir Bhutto – Pakistani politician, first female Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • 1997 Billy Wright – English/Irish commander
  • 1985 Dian Fossey – American zoologist
  • 1979 Hafizullah Amin – Afghan politician
  • 1958 Harry Warner – Polish/American businessman, co-founded Warner Bros.

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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