It happened today – this day in history – June 30

1520: Spanish conquistadors are expelled from Tenochtitlan following an Aztec revolt against their rule under Hernan Cortes. Aztec emperor Montezuma II dies in the struggle.

1559: Henry II of France is seriously injured in a jousting match against Gabriel de Montgomery.

1596: English and Dutch fleet reach Cadiz.

1665: The number of deaths in London from the Great Plague during June is recorded as 6,137.

1685: Birth of poet and dramatist John Gay.

1734: The Russian army occupies Danzig.

1859: French acrobat Charles Blondin is the first to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

1876: Serbia declares war on Turkey.

1893: The Excelsior diamond (blue-white 995 carats) then the world’s largest, is discovered in the Jagersfontein Mine, South Africa.

1894: Korea declares independence from China and asks for Japanese aid. On the same day, Tower Bridge opens across the River Thames in London.

1898: Winton Motor Carriage Company publishes the first known car ad in Scientific American using the headline “dispense with a horse.”

1899: Spin bowler Jack Hearne takes England cricket’s first Test hat-trick vs Australia at Headingley.

1902: Laurence Doherty wins his first Wimbledon singles title beating defending champion Arthur Gore 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.

1903: Laurence Doherty beats Frank Riseley 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 for his second consecutive Wimbledon men’s singles title.

1905: The crew of the Russian battleship “Georgei Pobiedonosets” mutinies in support of the “Potemkin”, which mutinied three days earlier.

1908: A giant fireball, most likely caused by the air burst of a meteor or comet flattens 80 million trees near the Stony Tunguska River in Yeniseysk Governorate, Russia, in the largest impact event in recorded history.

1910: Russia absorbs Finland.

1911: Golfer Harry Vardon wins his fifth British Open

1914: Mahatma Gandhi’s first arrest after campaigning for Indian rights in South Africa.

1916: General Douglas Haig reports “The men are in splendid spirits” the day before the Battle of the Somme begins.

1924: J. B. M. Hertzog becomes head of a coalition government between the National and Labour Parties in South Africa.

1929: Bobby Jones wins his third US Open in a 36-hole playoff.

1933: 50,000 demonstrate against fascism in Antwerp.

1934: Adolf Hitler stages a bloody purge of the Nazi party in “The Night of the Long Knives”, a series of political executions to consolidate his power carried out mostly by the Gestapo and the SS.

1936: Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie asks the League of Nations for sanctions against Italy. On the same day, “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell is published.

1937: The world’s first emergency call telephone service is launched in London using the number 999.

1938: Superman first appears in DC’s Action Comic by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

1940: German troops begin the invasion of the undefended Channel Islands.

1944: The Battle of Cherbourg ends with the fall of the strategically valuable port to American forces.

1948: Transitors as a substitute for valves announced by Bell Labs in New York.


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1954: Millions of people turn to look at the darkening skies as a total eclipse of the sun spreads from America through Europe and on to Asia.

1960: Zaire declares independence from Belgium.

Singles chart:

  1. Three Steps To Heaven – Eddie Cochran
  2. Good Timin’ – Jimmy Jones
  3. Mama – Connie Francis
  4. Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Tommy Bruce and the Bruisers
  5. Cradle Of Love – Johnny Preston
  6. I Wanna Go Home – Lonnie Donegan
  7. Cathy’s Clown – The Everly Brothers
  8. When Johnny Comes Marching Home – Adam Faith
  9. Handy Man – Jimmy Jones
  10. Angela Jones – Michael Cox

1962: Rwanda and Burundi become independent.

1963: The Beatles – Please Please Me

1963: Album chart:

  1. Please Please Me – The Beatles
  2. Summer Holiday – Cliff Richard
  3. Reminiscing – Buddy Holly
  4. Greatest Hits – The Shadows
  5. It Happened At The World’s Fair – Elvis Presley
  6. West Side Story – Original Soundtrack
  7. I’ll Remember You – Frank Ifield
  8. Billy – Billy Fury
  9. South Pacific – Original Soundtrack
  10. Sinatra-Basie – Frank Sinatra and Count Basie

1967: Following a leader in The Times by editor William Rees-Mogg (father of Jacob) entitled “Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?” Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are released from jail and granted bail.

1971: Three Russian cosmonauts are found dead in their Soyuz 11 space capsule after it made what looked like a perfect landing in Kazakhstan.

1974: Soviet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov defects to the west.

1975: Muhammad Ali retains his world heavyweight boxing crown, beating Joe Bugner by a unanimous points decision in a re-match in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On the same day, Cher marries Greg Allman four days after divorcing Sonny Bono.

1980: West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt visits Moscow.

1984: Cocaine growers stage a failed coup in Bolivia. On the same day, the last sixpence is minted in Britain.

1985: 39 Americans being held captive by the Shia Muslim Amal militia in Lebanon are released, after almost three weeks in captivity.

1990: East and West Germany merge their economies.

1992: Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher takes her place in the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven. On the same day, Nelson Mandela meets with UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali at Dakar.

1994: Pre-trial hearings open in LA against O J Simpson. On the same day, the US Ice Skating Federation bans Tonya Harding for life.

1995: Singer Phyllis Hyman commits suicide by overdosing on pentobarbital and secobarbital in her New York apartment aged 45.

1996: Germany beat the Czech Republic, 2-1 in extra time to win the European Championship at Wembley Stadium.

2000: Eight men are trampled to death during Pearl Jam’s performance at The Roskilde festival, near Copenhagen.

2001: Guitarist Chet Atkins dies in Nashville aged 77.

2002: Ronaldo scores twice as Brazil beat Germany, 2-0 to win the World Cup a record fifth time in Japan.

2004: The Kinks guitarist Dave Davies suffers a stroke and is paralysed down his right side. He learns how to play again with help from brother Ray. .

2005: Spain legalizes same-sex marriage.

2007: A 4×4 crashes into Glasgow International Airport in an attempted terrorist attack.

2014: Entertainer Rolf Harris is convicted of indecent assault.

2016: Candidates announce their bids for the leadership of the Conservative party including Theresa May and Michael Gove after Boris Johnson rules himself out.

2018: Two members of the public are confirmed poisoned by Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury.

2019: Donald trump becomes the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea in a Korean Demilitarized Zone meeting with Kim Jong Un. On the same day, Kylie Minogue finally plays the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival 14 years after a cancer diagnosis forced her to cancel.

2020: China’s new national security legislation for Hong Kong comes into force.

BIRTHDAYS: Andy Scott, guitarist (Sweet), 72; Stanley Clarke, bassist, 70;Vincent D’Onofrio, actor, 62; Julianne Regan, singer (All About Eve) 59; Rupert Graves, actor, 58; Yngwie Malmsteen, guitarist, 58; Gary Pallister, footballer, 56; Mike Tyson, boxer, 55; Phil Anselmo, vocalist (Pantera), 53; James Martin, TV chef, 49; Ralf Schumacher, racing driver, 46; Ryan ten Doeschate, cricketer, 41; Tom Burke, actor, 40; Lizzy Caplan, actress, 39; Ashley Walters, actor/rapper, 39; Cheryl Cole, singer, 38; Katherine Ryan (Koostra), comedian, 38; Michael Phelps, swimmer, 36; Tom Davies, footballer, 23.