On this Day June 30

History Highlights

1859 – Frenchman Jean Francois Gravelet, a.k.a.  The Great Blondin, or Charles Blondin, becomes the first daredevil to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Thousands of spectators line the American and Canadian sides of the falls to observe the feat, which he  performs along an 1,100-foot-long tightrope suspended 160 feet above the raging waters of Niagara Gorge.

1934 – In what comes to be known as the Night of the Long Knives, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler orders a bloody purge of his own political party, assassinating hundreds of Nazis whom he believed had the potential to become political enemies in the future.

1936 – Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Gone with the Wind,” one of the best-selling novels of all time and the basis for the blockbuster 1939 movie, is published.

1971 – “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,” a movie musical-fantasy starring Gene Wilder, opens in theaters. It’s an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1964 novel, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

1971 – Three Soviet cosmonauts who made up the crew of the world’s first space station are killed when their spacecraft, Soyuz 11, depressurizes during reentry to Earth’s atmosphere.

1974 – The July 4th scene from the movie “Jaws” is filmed on Martha’s Vineyard, with 400 screaming, panic-stricken extras in bathing suits running from the water multiple times until director Steven Spielberg gets the right take.

1989 – Writer-director Spike Lee’s celebrated third feature film, “Do the Right Thing” about racial tensions boiling over in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood on the hottest day of the year — opens in U.S. theaters. The movie receives Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Danny Aiello.

1993 – The legal thriller “The Firm,” directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Gene Hackman, opens in theaters. It’s based on the 1991 novel of the same name by John Grisham.

1995 – Director Ron Howard’s high-intensity drama “Apollo 13,” about NASA’s desperate efforts to bring the crew of Apollo 13 safely home after an explosion that denies them a moon landing, opens in U.S. theaters. Starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris and Gary Sinise, the movie receives nine Oscar nominations and wins for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.

Own a Piece of This Day

SHOP HERE:

The Very Best of Ray Charles

Ray Charles

Living In The Material World

George Harrison

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Starring Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson and Peter Ostrum, and directed by Mel Stuart

Gone With the Wind

Margaret Mitchell

The Essential Lena Horne

Lena Horne

Undisputed Truth

Mike Tyson

On this Day June 6

Musical Milestones

1962 – The Beatles, with Pete Best on drums, gather at EMI Studios in London for an audition that doubles as their first recording session. They record  “Besame Mucho,” “Love Me Do,” “PS I Love You” and “Ask Me Why.”

1964 – The Dixie Cups give The Beatles’ “Love Me Do” the boot and begin three weeks on top of the Billboard singles chart with “Chapel of Love.”

1965 – The Rolling Stones release “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in the U.S. (the track is released in the U.K. that August), and within four weeks, it becomes a No. 1 hit.

1972 – David Bowie releases what many still consider the definitive rock ‘n’ roll concept album: “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.”

1982 – The “Peace Sunday, We Have A Dream” antinuclear concert draws 85,000 people to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California for a musical lineup featuring Tom Petty, Crosby Stills & Nash, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks, Jackson Browne and more. Dylan and Joan Baez perform duets of “Blowin’ In The Wind” and “With God On Our Side.”

1987 – Kim Wilde’s cover of The Supremes’ 1966 hit, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” is the most popular single.

1992 – Hip hop duo Kris Kross maintain a hold on the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Jump.”

2006 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and keyboard player Billy Preston dies of kidney failure at age 59. Over the years, Preston collaborated with some of the greatest names in the music industry, including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

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Anthology 1

The Beatles

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

David Bowie

D-Day: The Battle for Normandy

Antony Beevor

Sundays with Sullivan: How the Ed Sullivan Show Brought Elvis, the Beatles, and Culture to America

Bernie Ilson

Everything Bad & Beautiful

Sandra Bernhard

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Starring John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund, and directed by Wes Craven