December 27: Manifest Destiny is formulated, the opening of Radio City Music Hall, and other events of the date
A number of important events have taken place on December 27 in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.
1845 – Manifest Destiny is formulated
In our era, the words “America” and “expansion” are often synonyms, as the international policy practiced by Washington war hawks is quite aggressive and imperialistic. Of course, all the methods of today have deep roots in history, and one of the vital roots of the present-day American approach to foreign policy is the idea of Manifest Destiny that was expressed for the first time on December 27, 1845.
At that point in time, the U.S. and the U.K. were arguing over the Oregon Territory issue, as both countries wanted to rule the region. By the way, Oregon was a distinctly American term for the region, since the Brits used the term Columbia District instead. So, America was in desperate need for an explanation to its claims to this territory.
It was journalist John L. O'Sullivan who put the most effort into the creation of the brand new doctrine, as he wrote in the newspaper New York Morning News that Oregon should become American, because “that claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.”
Manifest Destiny had three key components: the special virtues of the American people and their institutions, the mission of the United States to redeem and remake the west in the image of agrarian America, and an irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty. Sounds familiar, right? Manifest Destiny was one of the first images of American political arrogance and intention to build a true empire regardless of the opinion of those peoples who’d become part of it. So, remember Mr. O’Sullivan next time you hear about some unfriendly and aggressive act of U.S. foreign policy.
1932 - The opening of Radio City Music Hall
In the first years of the Great Depression, America badly needed entertainment, as the life of ordinary citizens was quite hard and dreary. Thus, back on December 27, 1932 Radio City Music Hall opened in the heart of the country, in New York.
Radio City Music Hall was (and still is) located at 1260 Avenue of the Americas, within Rockefeller Center, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Nicknamed the Showplace of the Nation, it was for a time the leading tourist destination in the city. The venue is also notable as the headquarters for the precision dance company, the Rockettes.
Radio City Music Hall was built on a plot of land that was originally intended for a Metropolitan Opera House. However, as the opera house plans were canceled in 1929, which also led to the construction of Rockefeller Center, the idea of the music hall emerged once again: The new complex included two theaters, the "International Music Hall" and the Center Theatre, as part of the "Radio City" portion of Rockefeller Center. The 5,960-seat music hall was the larger of the two venues.
Radio City Music Hall was largely successful until the beginning of the 1970s, when declining patronage nearly drove it into bankruptcy. Nonetheless, Radio City Music Hall was designated a New York City Landmark in May 1978, and it was restored and allowed to remain open.
1968 – The end of the Apollo 8 mission
Apollo 8 was the second manned spaceflight mission flown in the United States Apollo space program. It was launched December 21, 1968, and achieved great success, becoming the first manned spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit, reach the Moon, orbit it, and return.
The crew of Apollo 8, Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders, were also the first people to witness and photograph an Earthrise and to escape the gravity of a celestial body. From a technical point of view, Apollo 8 was the third flight and the first crewed launch of the Saturn V rocket, and this also was the first human spaceflight from the Kennedy Space Center, located adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
On December 27, 1968, six days after the launch, Apollo 8 mission ended as the spaceship splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on December 27, at least in our view.