On this day: December 27

Published On: Dec 26 2012 02:53:05 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 27 2013 01:00:00 AM CST

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.

OTD December 27 - Stephen F Austin
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Public domain

1836: Stephen F. Austin, the businessman known as the Father of Texas, dies of pneumonia at age 43 outside of what is now West Columbia, Texas. Austin led the successful colonization of the region in the 1820s by bringing 300 families from the United States to what was then a Mexican province. In the process he formed what would develop into the Texas Rangers. The capital city of Texas is named after him.

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