This Day In History- June 30Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Today is the 182nd day of 2016. There are 184 days left in the year.
1997: The Union Jack is lowered for the last time over Government House in Hong Kong as Britain prepares to hand the colony back to China at midnight after ruling it for 156 years.
1859: French acrobat Charles Blondin walks back and forth on a tightrope above the gorge of Niagara Falls as thousands of spectators watch.
1865: Eight people, including Mary Surratt and Dr Samuel Mudd, are convicted by a military commission of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. (Four defendants, including Surratt, were executed; Mudd was sentenced to life in prison, but was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson in 1869.)
1892: Small frogs rain down on Moseley, England, south of Birmingham. (According to an account quoted in the US Agriculture Department's Monthly Weather Review for May 1917, the frogs, described as “almost white in colour”, were found “scattered about several gardens” and had “evidently been absorbed in a small waterspout” during a storm.)
1908: The Tunguska Event takes place in Russia as an asteroid exploded above Siberia, leaving 800 square miles of scorched or blown-down trees.
1912: Canada's deadliest tornado on record occurs as a cyclone strikes Regina, the provincial capital of Saskatchewan, killing 28 people.
1921: President Warren G Harding nominates former President William Howard Taft to be chief justice of the US Supreme Court, succeeding the late Edward Douglass White.
1930: Britain recognises independence of Iraq.
1934: Night of Long Knives: hundreds of leading Nazis are murdered on Hitler's orders.
1936: Margaret Mitchell's epic Gone with the Wind is published. It becomes an all-time best-seller. 1952: The Guiding Light, later a popular radio programme, begins a 57-year television run on CBS.
1956: Leeward Islands Federation is dissolved to enable islands to enter Caribbean Federation.
1958: The US Senate passes the Alaska statehood Bill by a vote of 64-20.
1960: The Belgian Congo becomes the independent Republic of the Congo. Civil war soon erupts.
1963: Pope Paul VI is crowned the 262nd head of the Roman Catholic Church.
1964: UN military operations in Congo end.
1965: India and Pakistan sign ceasefire.
1966: The National Organization for Women is founded in Washington, DC.
1971: The film fantasy Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder, is released by Paramount Pictures. Three Soviet cosmonauts, in space for more than three weeks, are found dead when their Soyuz 11 spacecraft lands. A leak had caused their craft to decompress.
1976: US spacecraft's photographs of Mars show that planet once sustained abundant and rapidly flowing water.
1977: US President Jimmy Carter announces he has decided against production of the Rockwell B-1 bomber, saying it is too costly. (However, the B-1 was later revived by President Ronald Reagan.)
1985: Some 39 American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner are freed in Beirut after being held 17 days.
1989: Brig Omar el-Bashir takes power in a bloodless coup in Sudan.
1991: Two top leaders of Algeria's rebellious fundamentalists are arrested, and clashes between their followers and Algerian security forces leave at least one dead.
1992: Fidel Ramos is sworn in as Philippine president.
1993: A federal judge blocks the North American Free Trade agreement with Mexico and Canada until the Bill Clinton Administration details its likely effects on the environment.
1994: The US Figure Skating Association strips Tonya Harding of the 1994 national championship and bans her from the organisation for life for her involvement in the attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan. An Airbus A330 passenger plane crashes after takeoff from Toulouse, France, on a test flight, killing all seven on board.
1996: Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs and a suspected war criminal, bows to international pressure and steps aside, handing over to an equally nationalist deputy.
2000: Fans rush the stage during a concert at one of Europe's largest rock festivals in Denmark, crushing nine people to death. The Roskilde festival, first held in 1971, was inspired by the 1969 Woodstock Festival in New York.
2001: Congo ends a more than two-decade break in top-level relations with its old colonial ruler by welcoming Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt into the country.
2005: Spain's parliament legalises gay marriage, dismissing vehement opposition from conservatives and clergy to make the traditionally Roman Catholic nation the third in the world to grant recognition and rights to same-sex couples, including adoption of children.
2006: A doping scandal knocks top Tour de France riders out of the race, throwing the world's most glamourous cycling event into chaos. A tired-sounding Osama bin Laden praises slain Iraq insurgent Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (AH'-boo MOO'-sahb ahl-zahr-KOW'-ee) in an audiotape. The Government of the Netherlands resigns over a failed attempt to strip Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a prominent Somali-born critic of Islam, of her Dutch citizenship.
2008: US President George W Bush signs legislation to pay for the war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the rest of his presidency and beyond, hailing the US$162-billion plan as a rare product of bipartisan cooperation.
2011: The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon issues an indictment naming four suspects in the assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri (rah-FEEK' hah-REER'-ee), including a high-ranking Hezbollah militant linked to the 1983 truck bombings at the US and French embassies in Kuwait. (Hezbollah has refused to extradite the suspects, who are being tried in absentia.) Conservative TV commentator Glenn Beck says goodbye to Fox News channel, airing his final show before going into business for himself.
2012: Islamist Mohammed Morsi becomes Egypt's first freely elected president, launching his four-year term with a potentially dangerous quest to wrest back from the military the full authority of his office.
2015: A tough-talking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie launches his 2016 campaign for president with a promise to tell voters the truth “whether you like it or not, or whether it makes you cringe every once in a while or not”. An Indonesian Air Force transport plane crashes, killing at least 121 people on board and 22 on the ground. Actress Jennifer Garner and actor Ben Affleck announce plans to end their 10-year marriage.
2016: Saying it was the right thing to do, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter announces that transgender people would be allowed to serve openly in the military, ending one of the last bans on service in the armed forces.
George Duhamel, French author (1884-1966); Walter Ulbricht, East German Communist leader (1893-1973); Czeslaw Milosz, Czech poet and Nobel laureate (1911-2004); Lena Horne, US singer (1917-2010); Anthony 'Tony' Gambrill, Jamaican writer (1935-); David Alan Grier, actor/comedian (1955-); Vincent D'Onofrio, US actor (1959-); Fantasia, rhythm-and-blues singer (1984- ); Michael Phelps, Olympic gold medal swimmer (1985- )
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