1968 – Apollo program: Apollo 8 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon.
1966 – The Cave of Swallows, the largest known cave shaft in the world, is discovered in Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
1935 – Regina Jonas is ordained as the first female rabbi in the history of Judaism.
1927 – Show Boat, considered to be the first true American musical play, opens at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway.
1922 – Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō becomes the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world.
1911 – "Jana Gana Mana", the national anthem of India, is first sung in the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress.
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".
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.
1521 – The Zwickau prophets arrive in Wittenberg disturbing the peace and preaching the Apocalypse. Philip Melanchthon cannot silence them. Martin Luther is being held in protective custody at the Wartburg castle at this time. He is later released and is able, by his preaching, to regain the peace.
1988 – Hayley Williams, American singer-songwriter. She is best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter, and keyboardist of the rock band Paramore.
1988 – Rick Porcello, American baseball player. Frederick Alfred Porcello III (born December 27, 1988) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB).
1985 – Paul Stastny, Canadian-American ice hockey player. Paul Stastny (born December 27, 1985) is a Canadian-born American professional ice hockey centre currently playing for the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League (NHL).
1983 – Cole Hamels, American baseball player. Colbert Michael Hamels (born December 27, 1983) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB).
1982 – Erin E. Stead, American illustrator. She won the 2011 Caldecott Medal for the year's best-illustrated U.S. picture book, recognizing her first publication, A Sick Day for Amos McGee.
1981 – David Aardsma, American baseball player. David Allan Aardsma (/ˈɑːrdzmə/; born December 27, 1981) is an American former professional baseball pitcher, currently serving in the Toronto Blue Jays front office as a coordinator of player development.
1981 – Moise Joseph, American-Haitian runner. Moise Joseph (born 27 December 1981 in Florida, United States) is a Haitian middle-distance runner specializing in the 800 meters.
1980 – Bernard Berrian, American football player. He played college football at Fresno State.
1980 – Dahntay Jones, American basketball player. Dahntay Lavall Jones (born December 27, 1980) is an American former professional basketball player who last played for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1979 – Carson Palmer, American football player. Carson Hilton Palmer (born December 27, 1979) is a former American football quarterback who played 15 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals.
1978 – Deuce McAllister, American football player. Dulymus Jenod "Deuce" McAllister (born December 27, 1978) is a former American football running back who played eight seasons for the New Orleans Saints in the National Football League (NFL).
1975 – Heather O'Rourke, American actress (d. 1988), was an American child actress. She made her debut after being discovered by director Steven Spielberg while visiting MGM studios.
1974 – Jay Pandolfo, American ice hockey player and coach. Jay Paul Pandolfo (born December 27, 1974) is an American former professional ice hockey forward.
1974 – Masi Oka, Japanese-American actor and visual effects designer. Masayori "Masi" Oka (岡 政偉, Oka Masayori, b. 1974) is an American actor, occasional rapper, producer and digital effects artist of Japanese descent who became widely known for his role on NBC's Heroes as Hiro Nakamura and in CBS's Hawaii Five-0 as Doctor Max Bergman.
1972 – Kevin Ollie, American basketball player and coach. Ollie graduated from Connecticut in 1995 with a degree in Communications.
1972 – Matt Slocum, American guitarist and songwriter. Matt Slocum (born 27 December 1972) is a guitarist, cellist, pianist and composer, known for his work as the principal songwriter and lead guitarist of Sixpence None the Richer.
1971 – Bryan Smolinski, American ice hockey player and coach. He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens.
1971 – Jason Hawes, American paranormal investigator and author, founded The Atlantic Paranormal Society. TAPS co-founder and former lead investigator Grant Wilson leads a new team.
1971 – Savannah Guthrie, American television journalist. She is a main co-anchor of the NBC News morning show Today, a position she has held since July 2012.
1970 – Chyna, American professional wrestler and actress (d. 2016), was an American professional wrestler, glamour model, pornographic film actress, actress, and bodybuilder.
1970 – Lorenzo Neal, American football player and radio host. Lorenzo LaVonne Neal (born December 27, 1970) is a former American football fullback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for sixteen seasons.
1969 – Sarah Vowell, American author and journalist. She was a contributing editor for the radio program This American Life on Public Radio International from 1996 to 2008, where she produced numerous commentaries and documentaries and toured the country in many of the program's live shows.
1966 – Bill Goldberg, American football player, wrestler, and actor. William Scott Goldberg (born December 27, 1966) is an American professional wrestler, actor, former football player, and former mixed martial artist color commentator.
1966 – Eva LaRue, American model and actress. Maria Santos on All My Children and Det.
1966 – Fabian Núñez, American politician. Fabian Núñez (also transcribed variously as Fabián Núñez, Fabian Nuñez and Fabian Nunez; born December 27, 1966) is an American politician and labor union adviser.
1962 – Bill Self, American basketball player and coach. Billy Eugene Self Jr. (born December 27, 1962) is the NCAA Division-1 men's college basketball coach at the University of Kansas.
1962 – Mark Few, American basketball player and coach. Mark Norman Few (born December 27, 1962) is an American college basketball coach who has been the head coach at Gonzaga University since 1999.
1962 – Sherri Steinhauer, American golfer. She was born in Madison, Wisconsin and attended The University of Texas at Austin.
1960 – Donald Nally, American conductor and academic. Donald Nally (born December 27, 1960) is an American conductor, chorus master, and professor of conducting, specializing in chamber choirs, opera, and new music.
1959 – Andre Tippett, American football player and coach, was an All-Pro linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for 11 seasons from 1982 to 1993, missing all of the 1989 season. He played college football for the University of Iowa, where he was recognized as a consensus All-American in 1981.
1959 – Gerina Dunwich, American astrologer, historian, and author. Gerina Dunwich (born December 27, 1959, Illinois, United States) is a professional astrologer, occult historian, and New Age author, best known for her books on Wicca and various occult subjects.
1957 – Greg Mortenson, American humanitarian and author. Greg Mortenson (born December 27, 1957) is an American professional speaker, writer, veteran, and former mountaineer.
1955 – Barbara Olson, American journalist and author (d. 2001), was an American lawyer and conservative television commentator who worked for CNN, Fox News Channel, and several other outlets. She was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 en route to a taping of Bill Maher's television show Politically Incorrect when it was flown into the Pentagon in the September 11 attacks.
1955 – Brad Murphey, American-Australian race car driver. Brad Murphey (born December 27, 1955 in Tucson, Arizona), is a former American racecar driver in the Indy Racing League.
1952 – Tovah Feldshuh, American actress, singer, and playwright. She has also received two Emmy Award nominations for Holocaust and Law & Order, and appeared in such films as A Walk on the Moon, She's Funny That Way, and Kissing Jessica Stein.
1950 – Terry Bozzio, American drummer and songwriter. Terry John Bozzio (born December 27, 1950) is an American drummer best known for his work with Missing Persons and Frank Zappa.
1947 – Bill Eadie, American wrestler and coach. William Reid Eadie (born December 27, 1947) is an American professional wrestler who has competed under the names of Ax as part of Demolition and The Masked Superstar.
1946 – Lenny Kaye, American guitarist, songwriter, and producer. Lenny Kaye (born December 27, 1946) is an American guitarist, composer, and writer who is best known as a member of the Patti Smith Group.
1943 – Cokie Roberts, American journalist and author, was an American journalist and bestselling author. Her career included decades as a political reporter and analyst for National Public Radio and ABC News, with prominent positions on Morning Edition, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, World News Tonight, and This Week.
1943 – Roy White, American baseball player and coach. With the Yankees, he won two championships in 1977 and '78, both over his hometown Los Angeles Dodgers.
1942 – Byron Browne, American baseball player. Byron Ellis Browne (born December 27, 1942), is an American former professional baseball outfielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, St.
1942 – Ron Rothstein, American basketball player and coach. Rothstein (born December 27, 1942) is an American former professional basketball coach and college basketball player, who has led many different NBA teams.
1942 – Thomas Menino, American politician, 53rd Mayor of Boston (d. 2014), was an American politician who served as the 53rd Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts from 1993 to 2014. He was the city's longest-serving mayor.
1941 – Miles Aiken, American basketball player and coach. Miles Aiken (born December 27, 1941) is an American former professional basketball player, coach of the British Olympic basketball team, and sportscaster of basketball and American football.
1941 – Nolan Richardson, American basketball player and coach. Nolan Richardson Jr. (born December 27, 1941) is a former American basketball head coach best known for his tenure at the University of Arkansas, where he won the 1994 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.
1939 – John Amos, American actor. John Allen Amos Jr. (born December 27, 1939) is an American actor known for his role as James Evans, Sr., on the CBS television series Good Times and for the 1977 miniseries Roots, for which he received an Emmy nomination.
1933 – Dave Marr, American golfer (d. 1997), was an American professional golfer and sportscaster, best known for winning the 1965 PGA Championship.
1931 – Scotty Moore, American guitarist and songwriter (d. 2016), was an American guitarist and recording engineer who formed The Blue Moon Boys in 1954, Elvis Presley's backing band. He was studio and touring guitarist for Presley between 1954 and 1968.
1930 – Marshall Sahlins, American anthropologist and academic. Marshall David Sahlins (/ˈsɑːlɪnz/ SAH-linz; born December 27, 1930) is an American anthropologist best known for his ethnographic work in the Pacific and for his contributions to anthropological theory.
1930 – Wilfrid Sheed, English-born American novelist and essayist (d. 2011). Sheed was born in London, to Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward, prominent Roman Catholic publishers (Sheed & Ward) in the United Kingdom and the United States during the mid-20th century.
1927 – Audrey Wagner, American baseball player, obstetrician, and gynecologist (d. 1984), was an outfielder who played from 1943 through 1949 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m), 145 lb., she batted and threw right-handed.
1926 – Jerome Courtland, American actor, director, and producer (d. 2012). He acted in films in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and in television in the 1950s and 1960s.
1924 – James A. McClure, American soldier, lawyer, and politician (d. 2011), was an American lawyer and politician from the state of Idaho, most notably serving as a Republican in the U.S. Senate for three terms.
1924 – Jean Bartik, American computer scientist and engineer (d. 2011), was one of the original programmers for the ENIAC computer.
1920 – Bruce Hobbs, American jockey and trainer (d. 2005), was an English jockey and racehorse trainer.
1919 – Charles Sweeney, American general and pilot (d. 2004). Sweeney (December 27, 1919 – July 16, 2004) was an officer in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II and the pilot who flew Bockscar carrying the Fat Man atomic bomb to the Japanese city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.
1918 – John Celardo, American captain and illustrator (d. 2012), was an American comic strip and comic book artist, best known for illustrating the Tarzan comic strip.
1917 – Buddy Boudreaux, American saxophonist and clarinet player (d. 2015), was a big band and jazz musician in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He played saxophone and clarinet.
1916 – Cathy Lewis, American actress (d. 1968), was an American actress remembered best for numerous radio appearances but also noted for making a number of film and television appearances in the last decade of her life.
1915 – William Masters, American gynecologist, author, and academic (d. 2001), was an American gynecologist, best known as the senior member of the Masters and Johnson sexuality research team. Along with his partner Virginia E.
1910 – Charles Olson, American poet and educator (d. 1970), was a second generation modern American poet who was a link between earlier figures such as Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams and the New American poets, which includes the New York School, the Black Mountain School, the Beat poets, and the San Francisco Renaissance. Consequently, many postmodern groups, such as the poets of the language school, include Olson as a primary and precedent figure.
1907 – Conrad L. Raiford, American baseball player and activist (d. 2002), was an American athlete, goodwill ambassador and one of Greensboro, North Carolina's first African-American police officers.
1906 – Oscar Levant, American pianist, composer, and actor (d. 1972), was an American concert pianist, composer, music conductor, author, radio game show panellist, television talk show host, comedian and actor. He was as famous for his mordant character and witticisms, on the radio and in movies and television, as for his music.
1905 – Cliff Arquette, American actor and comedian (d. 1974), was an American actor and comedian, famous for his persona, played on numerous television shows, of Charley Weaver.
1901 – Marlene Dietrich, German-American actress and singer (d. 1992). Throughout her long career, which spanned from the 1910s to the 1980s, she continually reinvented herself.
1896 – Louis Bromfield, American author and theorist (d. 1956), was an American author and conservationist. He gained international recognition, won the Pulitzer Prize, and pioneered innovative scientific farming concepts.
1883 – Cyrus S. Eaton, Canadian-American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1979), was a Canadian-American investment banker, businessman and philanthropist, with a career that spanned seventy years.
1879 – Sydney Greenstreet, English-American actor (d. 1954), was a British actor. While he did not work in films until the age of 61, he had a run of significant motion pictures in a Hollywood career lasting through the 1940s.
1863 – Louis Lincoln Emmerson, American lawyer and politician, 27th Governor of Illinois (d. 1941), was a Republican and the twenty-ninth governor of Illinois. He was born in Albion, Illinois on December 27, 1863.
1832 – Pavel Tretyakov, Russian businessman and philanthropist, founded the Tretyakov Gallery (d. 1897), was a Russian businessman, patron of art, collector, and philanthropist who gave his name to the Tretyakov Gallery and Tretyakov Drive in Moscow. His brother Sergei Tretyakov was also a famous patron of art and a philanthropist.
2016 – Carrie Fisher, American actress, screenwriter, author, producer, and speaker (b. 1956)
2015 – Dave Henderson, American baseball player and sportscaster (b. 1958)
2015 – Ellsworth Kelly, American painter and sculptor (b. 1923)
2015 – Meadowlark Lemon, American basketball player and minister (b. 1932)