Today is Thursday, June 30, the 182nd day of 2016. There are 184 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 30, 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded in Washington, D.C.
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 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 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 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 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 1971, the film fantasy “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” starring Gene Wilder, was released by Paramount Pictures.
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.
Ten years ago: A tired-sounding Osama bin Laden praised slain Iraq insurgent Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in an audiotape. The government of the Netherlands resigned over a failed attempt to strip Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a prominent Somali-born critic of Islam, of her Dutch citizenship.
Five years ago: The U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon issued an indictment naming four suspects in the assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, including a high-ranking Hezbollah militant linked to the 1983 truck bombings at the U.S. and French embassies in Kuwait. (Hezbollah has refused to extradite the suspects, who are being tried in absentia.) Conservative TV commentator Glenn Beck said goodbye to Fox News Channel, airing his final show before going into business for himself.
One year ago: A tough-talking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie launched 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 crashed, killing at least 121 people on board and 22 on the ground. Actress Jennifer Garner and actor Ben Affleck announced plans to end their 10-year marriage.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Lea Massari is 83. Actress Nancy Dussault is 80. Songwriter Tony Hatch is 77. Singer Glenn Shorrock is 72. Actor Leonard Whiting (Film: “Romeo and Juliet”) is 66. Jazz musician Stanley Clarke is 65. Actor David Garrison is 64. Rock musician Hal Lindes (Dire Straits) is 63. Actor-comedian David Alan Grier is 60. Actor Vincent D’Onofrio is 57. Actress Deirdre Lovejoy is 54. Actor Rupert Graves is 53. Boxer Mike Tyson is 50. Actor Peter Outerbridge is 50. Rock musician Tom Drummond (Better Than Ezra) is 47. Actor Brian Bloom is 46. Actor Brian Vincent is 46. Actress Monica Potter is 45. Actress Molly Parker is 44. Actor Rick Gonzalez is 37. Actor Tom Burke is 35. Actress Lizzy Caplan is 34. Rock musician James Adam Shelley (American Authors) is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer Fantasia is 32. Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps is 31.
Thought for Today: “The man who has done his level best is a success, even though the world may write him down a failure.” — B.C. Forbes, Scottish journalist (1880-1954)