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1962: Bay of Pigs prisoners fly to freedom
More than 1,000 men taken prisoner at the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba return to the United States in time for Christmas.

1974: 'Drowned' Stonehouse found alive
Former UK minister John Stonehouse has been found in Australia after apparently faking his own death.

1968: First astronauts orbit Moon
The Apollo 8 spacecraft and its crew of three astronauts become the first manned space mission to orbit the Moon.

1979: Europe launches first rocket
The first European-built rocket, Ariane 1, successfully blasts off into space.

1988: Oilfields crippled after storage ship drifts
North Sea oil production is dealt another blow months after the Piper Alpha disaster.

1997: Minister's son arrested in drug probe
The son of an unnamed Cabinet minister is arrested on suspicion of selling drugs.


Around this Day

21 December
Top Story: 1988: Jumbo jet crashes onto Lockerbie

22 December
Top Story: 1972: Survivors found 10 weeks after plane crash

23 December
Top Story: 1972: Earthquake wreaks devastation in Nicaragua

25 December
Top Story: 1989: Romania's 'first couple' executed

26 December
Top Story: 2004: Thousands die in Asian tsunami

27 December
Top Story: 1965: Sea Gem oil rig collapses


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