June 30

1520: Montezuma II is murdered as Spanish conquistadors flee the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan during the night.

1857: Charles Dickens reads from “A Christmas Carol” at St. Martin’s Hall in London –– his first public reading.

1859: Jean Francois Gravelet, aka Emile Blondin, a French daredevil, becomes the first man to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

1908: A mysterious explosion, possibly the result of a meteorite, levels thousands of trees in the Tunguska region of Siberia with a force approaching 20 megatons.

1934: Adolf Hitler orders the purge of his own party in the “Night of the Long Knives.”

1936: Margaret Mitchell’s novel, “Gone With the Wind,” is published.

1948: John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley demonstrate their invention, the transistor, for the first time.

1960: Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Psycho” opens.

1971: Three Soviet cosmonauts die when their spacecraft depressurizes during reentry.

Born on June 30

1685: John Gay, poet and playwright (“The Beggar’s Opera”).

1768: Elizabeth Kortright, later Elizabeth Monroe, first lady to U.S. President James Monroe.

1911: Czeslaw Milosz, Polish poet and critic.

1917: Lena Horne, American singer.

1919: Susan Hayward, actress.

1926: Paul Berg, Nobel Prize-winning biochemist.

1932: Mongo Beti, novelist and political writer.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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