Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

June 30, 2014

Today in History for Monday, June 30, 2014

VALDOSTA —

Highlight in History

On June 30, 1934, Adolf Hitler launched his “blood purge” of political and military rivals in Germany in what came to be known as “The Night of the Long Knives.”

On this date

In 1859, French acrobat Charles Blondin walked back and forth on a tightrope above the gorge of Niagara Falls as thousands of spectators watched.

In 1886, Arturo Toscanini, a 19-year-old cellist, made his legendary conducting debut as he stepped in as a last-minute substitute to lead the orchestra of an Italian touring company’s performance of the Verdi opera “Aida” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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 1912, Canada’s deadliest tornado on record occurred as a cyclone struck Regina, the provincial capital of Saskatchewan, killing 28 people.

In 1921, President Warren G. Harding nominated former President William Howard Taft to be chief justice of the United States, succeeding the late Edward Douglass White.

In 1933, the Screen Actors Guild was established.

In 1958, the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska statehood bill by a vote of 64-20.

In 1963, Pope Paul VI was crowned the 262nd head of the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1972, for the first time, a leap-second was added to Coordinated Universal Time to account for the slowing rotation of the Earth.

In 1984, John Turner was sworn in as Canada’s 17th prime minister, succeeding Pierre Elliott Trudeau. (However, Turner held the post for less than three months.) Playwright and screenwriter Lillian Hellman, 79, died on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

In 1985, 39 American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held 17 days.

In 1994, an Airbus A330 passenger plane crashed after takeoff from Toulouse, France, on a test flight, killing all seven occupants. The Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, that judges can bar even peaceful demonstrators from getting too close to abortion clinics. The U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of the national championship and banned her for life for her role in the attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan.

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