BEAGLES AND BUNKERS

December 27 in history:

Raise a glass of wine (or milk, if you prefer) to toast the birthday of scientist Louis Pasteur, born December 27th, 1822.  Pasteur lent his name to the pasteurization process of reducing organisms in food, especially dairy products and wine.  He also developed a rabies vaccine.

Another scientific pioneer began an important journey on this date in 1831, when 22-year-old naturalist Charles Darwin boarded the HMS Beagle at Plymouth, England.  During a five-year voyage around the world, Darwin’s studies of plant and animal life led him to develop his theory of evolution.

America’s favorite beagle, Snoopy, appeared atop his doghouse on the cover of the December 27th, 1971, issue of Newsweek magazine.  The “Merry Christmas” cover drawn by Charles Schulz also featured Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and Woodstock.  Other pop-culture figures to appear on Newsweek’s cover during ’71 included Mick Jagger, golfer Lee Trevino, and the cast of “All in the Family.”

An operatic parody of “All in the Family” was featured on the premiere of “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” on December 27th, 1971.  The show had been revived after a successful six-episode run in the summer.  Famed tenor Robert Merrill played Archie Bunker in the “Family” sketch, with Cher as Edith, Sonny as Mike, a then-unknown Teri Garr as Gloria, and the “real” Archie (Carroll O’Connor) as a CBS censor.

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