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AP’s Today in History for December 27th

Soviet Union invades Afghanistan; Charles Darwin sets out on round-the-world voyage; Radio City Music Hall opens in New York; James Barrie’s play “Peter Pan: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” opens in London.

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Couple behind 2009 ‘balloon boy’ hoax in US granted pardons
Reuters in Denver

The husband and wife who pleaded guilty to criminal charges for staging the 2009 “balloon boy” hoax, in which they created a global media sensation with a false report that their son had floated away in a makeshift dirigible, have been pardoned by Colorado’s governor.

In granting executive clemency to Richard and Mayumi Heene, Governor Jared Polis said the couple, now 59 and 56, had paid their debt to society for a “spectacle” that wasted law enforcement time and resources.

The couple reported on 15 October 2009 that their six-year-old son, Falcon, had been carried aloft by a homemade helium balloon that had become untethered in the family’s back yard in Fort Collins, Colorado.