On this day: December 27

POSTED: 12:53 PM PST Dec 26, 2012    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PST Dec 26, 2014 

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 - Soviets in Afganistan
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Mikhail Evstafiev/Wikimedia Commons

1979: After a Communist-led revolution in Afghanistan, Soviet forces enter the country by request of the new regime. The occupation was resisted by mujahideen opposition groups, which had already been rebelling against the pro-Soviet government. Due to the interminable nature of the decade-long war, the conflict in Afghanistan has sometimes been referred to as the "Soviet Union's Vietnam War."

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