Valdosta Daily Times

June 30, 2013

Today in History for Sunday, June 30, 2013


The Associated Press

-- — 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, Mich.



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

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 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.



Ten years ago

Israeli and Palestinian commanders shook hands as bulldozers dismantled checkpoints and Palestinian traffic flowed freely in the Gaza Strip. Comedian and actor Buddy Hackett died in Malibu, Calif., at age 78.



Five 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 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.)



One year ago

Islamist Mohammed Morsi became Egypt’s first freely elected president as he was sworn in during a pair of ceremonies. An international conference in Geneva accepted a United Nations-brokered peace plan calling for creation of a transitional government in Syria, but at Russia’s insistence the compromise left the door open to Syria’s president being a part of it. Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir died at age 96. Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan became the first player in a Grand Slam tournament to win every point of a set on her way to beating French Open runner-up Sara Errani 6-0, 6-4 in the third round of Wimbledon.