Today in History
Published 12:01 am Saturday, June 30, 2018
Today is Saturday, June 30, the 181st day of 2018. There are 184 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 30, 1953, the first Chevrolet Corvette, with its innovative fiberglass body, was built at a General Motors assembly facility in Flint, Michigan.
On this date:
In 1859, French acrobat Charles Blondin (blahn-DAN’) walked back and forth on a tightrope above the gorge of Niagara Falls as thousands of spectators watched.
In 1865, eight people, including Mary Surratt and Dr. Samuel Mudd, were 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.)
In 1908, the Tunguska Event took place in Russia as an asteroid exploded above Siberia, leaving 800 square miles of scorched or blown-down trees.
In 1918, labor activist and socialist Eugene V. Debs was arrested in Cleveland, charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 for a speech he’d made two weeks earlier denouncing U.S. involvement in World War I. (Debs was sentenced to prison and disenfranchised for life.)
In 1936, the Civil War novel “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell was first published by The Macmillan Co. in New York.
In 1949, “The Missouri Waltz” became the official state song of Missouri.
In 1963, Pope Paul VI was crowned the 262nd head of the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded in Washington, D.C.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter announced he had decided against production of the Rockwell B-1 bomber, saying it was too costly. (However, the B-1 was later revived by President Ronald Reagan.)
In 1985, 39 American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held 17 days.
In 1993, actor George “Spanky” McFarland of “Our Gang” and “Little Rascals” fame died in Grapevine, Texas, at age 64.
In 1997, the Union Jack was lowered for the last time over Government House in Hong Kong as Britain prepared to hand the colony back to China at midnight after ruling it for 156 years.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush signed legislation to pay for war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the rest of his presidency and beyond, hailing the $162 billion plan as a rare product of bipartisan cooperation. The United States announced that it was charging Saudi Arabian Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (ahbd al-ruh-HEEM’ al-nuh-SHEE’-ree) with “organizing and directing” the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in waters off Yemen, and would seek the death penalty. (Al-Nashiri, who’s being held at Guantanamo, has yet to stand trial.)
Five years ago: Nineteen elite firefighters known as members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed battling a wildfire northwest of Phoenix after a change in wind direction pushed the flames back toward their position. Addressing students at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, President Barack Obama declared that the future of the young and growing continent still rested in Nelson Mandela’s vision for equality and opportunity. Inbee Park won the U.S. Women’s Open in Southampton, New York, for her third straight major of the year.
One year ago: President Donald Trump and South Korea’s new leader, Moon Jae-in, concluding two days of talks at the White House, showed joint resolve on North Korea despite their divergent philosophies for addressing the nuclear threat.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Lea Massari is 85. Actress Nancy Dussault (doo-SOH’) is 82. Songwriter Tony Hatch is 79. Singer Glenn Shorrock is 74. Actor Leonard Whiting is 68. Jazz musician Stanley Clarke is 67. Actor David Garrison is 66. Rock musician Hal Lindes (Dire Straits) is 65. Actor-comedian David Alan Grier is 62. Actor Vincent D’Onofrio is 59. Actress Deirdre Lovejoy is 56. Actor Rupert Graves is 55. Boxer Mike Tyson is 52. Actor Peter Outerbridge is 52. Rock musician Tom Drummond (Better Than Ezra) is 49. Actor-comedian Tony Rock (TV: “Living Biblically”) is 49. Actor Brian Bloom is 48. Actor Brian Vincent is 48. Actress Monica Potter is 47. Actress Molly Parker is 46. Actor Rick Gonzalez is 39. Actor Tom Burke is 37. Actress Lizzy Caplan is 36. Rock musician James Adam Shelley (American Authors) is 35. Country singer Cole Swindell is 35. Rhythm and blues singer Fantasia is 34. Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps is 33. Actor Sean Marquette (TV: “The Goldbergs”) is 30.