1841 - The Erie Railroad rolled out its first passenger train on this day.
1859 - Frenchman Charles Blondin aka Jean Francois Gravelet crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope! It took him five minutes. 25,000 spectators stood and stared as he made his way across the falls in a most dangerous Odyssey ... one he had made several times before on stilts; carrying another man on his back; pushing a wheelbarrow; and even once, blindfolded. What some people do with nothing but spare time on their hands! Next, they’ll be going over the falls in wooden barrels!
1908 - One of the most powerful, natural explosions in recorded history occurred at 7:17 a.m. The site was the Tunguska section of Central Siberia. The spectacular explosion devastated a forested area, some 70 miles in diameter, caused seismic shock, a firestorm followed by black rain and an illumination that, it is said, could be seen for hundreds of miles. Yet, no crater was formed, and only the tops of the trees were burned at the central point of the explosion. It is said that the impact threw down horses that had been standing in a field 400 miles away and moved the tracks of the Trans-Siberian Railway, as if in an earthquake. It flash-burned people 40 miles away, melted their silverware and destroyed herds of reindeer. No one knows, for sure, what caused the explosion ... an extraterrestrial visitor? A comet? A meteor? A black hole? An atomic explosion?
1921 - Documents were signed forming the Radio Corporation of America, better known as RCA. RCA soon rivaled its main competitor, General Electric (GE).
1936 - Margaret Mitchell’s book, "Gone with the Wind", was published in New York City.
1952 - The radio soap opera, "The Guiding Light", was seen for the first time on CBS television. The daytime drama was credited by the "Guinness Book of World Records" as the longest running drama in television and radio history, running from 1937 until 2009.
1953 - The first Corvette rolled off the Chevrolet assembly line in Flint, MI. That early ’Vette sold for $3,250.
1962 - Los Angeles Dodger’s star Sandy Koufax pitched his first no-hitter in a game with the New York Mets. Koufax would toss three more no-hit games before retiring in 1966.
1970 - The Cincinnati Reds moved to their new $45,000,000 home at Riverfront Stadium. The Reds had played 48 seasons at Crosley Field.
1974 - The famous July 4th scene from the Steven Spielberg movie, "Jaws", was filmed. A crowd of 400 screaming, scared, panic-stricken extras in bathing suits ran from the water, over and over and over again, until the scene was perfect. No man-eating killer white sharks were harmed during the production of this paragraph...
1975 - Cher married rock star Gregg Allman. Cher announced her divorce from Allman just days after the couple tied the knot.
1981 - Grant Tinker, head of MTM Enterprises, was named to succeed Fred Silverman as president of NBC-TV. Silverman was known as a programming wonder-boy in previous successes with CBS and ABC but would find it rough-going at the Peacock Network.
1984 - The Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League (USFL) played the longest game in professional history by beating the Michigan Panthers 27-21. The game went on for 93 minutes, 33 seconds. The old mark had been 82 minutes, 40 seconds, set by the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. Commercial time was not counted.
1985 - Yul Brynner left his role as the King of Siam after 4,600 performances in "The King and I" at the Broadway Theatre in New York City. The show had run -- on and off -- for over 34 years.
1985 - For the 13th time since 1972, the world’s official timekeeper atomic clock ticked off one extra second at 23:59 Greenwich Mean Time (also called UCT, Universal Coordinated Time) or 7:59:59 p.m. in New York. The leap second was added to compensate for the gradual slowing of the Earth’s rotation.
1985 - The creator of the Twinkie, James A. Dewar, died on this day. Mr. Dewar created the treat in 1930. Many say that Twinkies will stay fresh almost forever. In fact, many bomb shelters in the 1960s were furnished with stockpiles of Hostess Twinkies just for that reason. More than 45 billion of the soft, cream-filled, sponge cakes have been sold.
1990 - German troops’ harassment of East German citizens stopped -- as did all border control activities between East and West Germany. A few weeks later (Sep 21, 1990), all of the border units were dissolved.
1990 - New Kids on the Block (Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight, Jon Knight, Danny Wood, Joe McIntyre) stepped to number one in the U.S. with their "Step by Step" single, just as their "Step by Step" LP was stepping to #1 in the U.S. and the U.K.
1991 - Frank Zappa performed with Hungarian musicians as Hungary celebrated the withdrawal of Soviet troops after some 46 years of occupation. Zappa headlined the "Taban Jazzfestival" this day in Budapest.
1993 - "The Firm", the flick, debuted. Tom Cruise stars as a young man fresh out of law shool who joins a sinister law firm and proceeds to dig up/out the dirt. Tom gets ample help from Gene Hackman, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Hal Holbrook, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter and other superstars combined to attract receipts totalling $25.40 million the first weekend.
1994 - The temperature at Death Valley, California reached 128 degrees (Fahrenheit). The only other time it has been that hot (since 1961 when weather data was first recorded) was on July 14, 1972. In case you are wondering, the coldest day was at Death Valley January 30, 1988, when it reached zero.
1995 - “Houston...we’ve had a problem.” Famous words from "Apollo 13", the real-life mission -- and the movie, which opened on U.S. theatre screens. It brought in $25.35 million for the weekend, which was no problem at all for the film’s producers.
1995 - Garth Brooks buried the glass master of his LP "The Hits" beneath his star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was the first time something like this had been done and, as far as we know, the last.
1997 - As the clock struck midnight, Red China reclaimed Hong Kong from Great Britain and the British Crown’s 156-year colonial rule came to an end. Many had predicted the worst, but Hong Kong seamlessly made the transition to a Special Administrative Region of China. As British Prime Minister Tony Blair remarked, “The vision of one country, two systems has become a reality ... I have been impressed by the Chinese leadership’s hands-off approach.”
1999 - Vodafone Group Plc of the U.K. and AirTouch Communications Inc. of the U.S. announced their plan to merge. Individually, the two companies were already leaders in mobile communications services in their respective home markets. The merger, valued at $69 billion, created a company with agreements in 102 countries across 217 networks giving over 150 million customers access to its network.
1999 - The Chicago Bulls, picking first in the NBA draft (for the first time ever), selected Duke’s power forward Elton Brand as their first overall selection. Brand had led Duke to the NCAA national title game (played March 29, 1999: UConn 77, Duke 74) and averaged 17.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game while shooting 62 percent from the field.
2000 - "The Perfect Storm" premiered in the U.S. to a nearly perfect $41.33 million opening-weekend box office. George Clooney plays Billy Tyne, captain of the "Andrea Gail", in a true-life drama about -- you guessed it -- a killer storm in the North Atlantic. Tyne’s crew is Bobby Shatford (played by Mark Wahlberg), Murph, (John C. Reilly), Sully (William Fichtner), Bugsy (John Hawkes) and Alfred Pierre (Allen Payne). On Halloween 1991, they are confronted by three raging weather fronts which unexpectedly collide to produce the greatest, fiercest storm in modern history -- the perfect storm (get it?).
Birthdays - June 30
1768 - Elizabeth Monroe (Kortright) (First Lady: wife of 5th U.S. President James Monroe; died Sep 23, 1830)
1917 - Susan Hayward (Edythe Marrender) (Academy Award-winning actress: I Want to Live , I’ll Cry Tomorrow, Valley of the Dolls; died Mar 14, 1975)
1917 - Lena Horne (singer: Love Me or Leave Me, Stormy Weather; actress: The Wiz; died May 9, 2010)
1927 - Shirley Fry (tennis champion: Australian Open , French Open , Wimbledon , U.S. Open )
1928 - June Valli (singer: Crying in the Chapel, Your Hit Parade, Stop the Music, Unchained Melody, Apple Green; died Mar 12, 1993)
1936 - Nancy Dussault (actress: Too Close for Comfort, The Ted Knight Show; co-host: Good Morning America)
1936 - Tony Musante (actor: Judgment, Toma, Fatal Choice, The Grissom Gang, Breaking Up is Hard To Do; died Nov 26, 2013)
1943 - Florence Ballard (singer: group: The Supremes: Baby Love, Stop! In the Name of Love, Come See About Me, You Can’t Hurry Love, My World is Empty Without You, The Happening; died Feb 22, 1976)
1944 - Glenn Shorrock (singer: group: Little River Band: It’s a Long Way There, Help is on Its Way, Reminiscing, Lady, Lonesome Loser, Cool Change, The Night Owls, Take It Easy on Me)
1944 - Ron (Alan) ‘Rocky’ Swoboda (baseball: NY Mets [World Series: 1969], Montreal Expos, NY Yankees)
1946 - William Brown (singer: group: The Moments: Love on a Two-Way Street, Look at Me [I’m in Love])
1946 - Bill Lenkaitis (football: Penn State Unive., San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots)
1949 - (Andrew) Andy Scott (musician: guitar: group: The Sweet: Funny Funny, Co-Co, Little Willy, Wig Wam Bam, Blockbuster, Hell Raiser, Ballroom Blitz, Teenage Rampage, Fox on the Run)
1951 - Roger Maltbie (golf: champ: World Series of Golf )
1952 - Brian Ogilvie (hockey: NHL: Chicago Blackhawks, SL Blues)
1953 - Hal Lindes (musician: guitar: group: Dire Straits: Telegraph Road, Private Investigation, Money for Nothing, Walk of Life, The Man’s Too Strong)
1955 - David Alan Grier (actor: Tales from the Hood, Jumanji, Loose Cannons, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, A Soldier’s Story, In Living Color, All is Forgiven)
1956 - Philip Adrian Wright (musician: synthesizer: group: Human League: Don’t You Want Me, [Keep Feeling] Fascination, Mirror Man, The Lebanon, Life on Your Own, Louise)
1959 - Vincent D’Onofrio (actor: Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Mystic Pizza, Ed Wood, The Newton Boys, The Thirteenth Floor, The Cell)
1963 - Rupert Graves (actor: The Madness of King George, Damage, Maurice, A Room with a View, Doomsday Gun, Mrs. Dalloway)
1966 - Mike Tyson (boxer: youngest heavyweight champion [20 years + 144 days])
1970 - Brian Bloom (actor: Once Upon a Time in America, As the World Turns, At Home with the Webbers, Bandit)
1971 - Monica Potter (actress: The Young and the Restless, Without Limits, Patch Adams, Along Came a Spider)
Chart Toppers - June 30
Some Enchanted Evening - Perry Como
Again - Gordon Jenkins
Bali Ha’i - Perry Como
One Kiss Too Many - Eddy Arnold
Love Letters in the Sand - Pat Boone
Teddy Bear - Elvis Presley
It’s Not for Me to Say - Johnny Mathis
Four Walls - Jim Reeves
Mr. Tambourine Man - The Byrds
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
Wonderful World - Herman’s Hermits
Before You Go - Buck Owens
Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) - George Harrison
Will It Go Round in Circles - Billy Preston
Kodachrome - Paul Simon
Don’t Fight the Feelings of Love - Charley Pride
Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
A Woman Needs Love (Just like You Do) - Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio
The One that You Love - Air Supply
Blessed are the Believers - Anne Murray
Satisfied - Richard Marx
Buffalo Stance - Neneh Cherry
Baby Don’t Forget My Number - Milli Vanilli
I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party - Roseanne Cash
Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Contributing writer: Joe Benson
Produced by John Williams
Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
from 440 International
No portion of these files may be reproduced without the express, written permission of 440 International Inc.