Sunday, June 30
Today is Sunday, June 30, the 181st day of 2011. There are 184 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1652 - England declares war on the Dutch.
1845 - Anglo-French expedition is sent to Madagascar against local ruler.
1859 - Frenchman Charles Blondin makes the first crossing of the Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
1876 - Serbia, under nationalist Jovan Ristich, declares war on Turkey.
1930 - Britain recognizes independence of Iraq.
1934 - Night of Long Knives: hundreds of leading Nazis are murdered on Hitler's orders.
1936 - Margaret Mitchell's epic "Gone with the Wind" is published. It becomes an all-time best seller.
1950 - U.S. President Harry Truman announces he has ordered U.S. troops stationed in Japan to help Republic of Korea repel North Korean invaders.
1956 - Leeward Islands Federation is dissolved to enable islands to enter Caribbean Federation.
1960 - The Belgian Congo becomes the independent Republic of the Congo. Civil war soon erupts.
1964 - United Nations military operations in Congo end.
1965 - India and Pakistan sign ceasefire.
1971 - Three Soviet cosmonauts, in space for more than three weeks, are found dead when their Soyuz 11 spacecraft lands. A leak had caused their craft to decompress.
1976 - U.S. spacecraft's photographs of Mars shows that planet once sustained abundant and rapidly flowing water.
1989 - Brig. Omar el-Bashir takes power in a bloodless coup in Sudan.
1990 - Soviet government resumes oil shipments to Lithuania one day after that republic's parliament agrees to suspend declaration of independence.
1991 - Two top leaders of Algeria's rebellious fundamentalists are arrested, and clashes between their followers and Algerian security forces leave at least one dead.
1992 - Fidel Ramos is sworn in as Philippine president.
1993 - A federal judge blocks the North American Free Trade agreement with Mexico and Canada until the Clinton administration details its likely effects on the environment.
1994 - The U.S. Figure Skating Association strips Tonya Harding of the 1994 national championship and bans her from the organization for life for her involvement in the attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan.
1995 - The Bosnian government says it will no longer deal with the top U.N. envoy to Yugoslavia, saying they consider him nonexistent.
1996 - Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs and a suspected war criminal, bows to international pressure and steps aside, handing over to an equally nationalist deputy.
1997 - Hong Kong is transferred to China in an eight-hour farewell ceremony after 156 years of British rule.
1998 - An American F-16 fires on an Iraqi missile site that had threatened British warplanes, a jolt to U.S.-Iraq relations after several months of relative calm.
2000 - Fans rush the stage during a concert at one of Europe's largest rock festivals in Denmark, crushing nine people to death. The Roskilde festival, first held in 1971, was inspired by the 1969 Woodstock Festival in New York.
2001 - Congo ends a more than two-decade break in top-level relations with its old colonial ruler by welcoming Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt into the country.
2002 - The U.S. vetoes a U.N. Security Council resolution extending the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina by six months, citing U.S. concerns over the establishment of an International Criminal Court.
2005 - Spain's parliament legalizes gay marriage, dismissing vehement opposition from conservatives and clergy to make the traditionally Roman Catholic nation the third in the world to grant recognition and rights to same-sex couples, including adoption of children.
2006 - A doping scandal knocks top Tour de France riders out of the race, throwing the world's most glamorous cycling event into chaos.
2007 - Two men ram a flaming Jeep Cherokee into the main terminal of Scotland's Glasgow airport, crashing into the glass entrance doors in the third attempted terror attack on Britain in two days.
2008 — U.S. President George W. Bush signs legislation to pay for the war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the rest of his presidency and beyond, hailing the $162 billion plan as a rare product of bipartisan cooperation.
2009 - A Yemeni Airbus 310 jetliner carrying 153 people crashes in the Indian Ocean as it comes in for a landing during howling winds on the island nation of Comoros. Yemeni officials say a teenage girl survives.
2010 — Cypriot police begin searching for an alleged Russian spy wanted in the United States who vanished after being released on bail a day earlier in the Mediterranean island nation.
George Duhamel, French author (1884-1966); Walter Ulbricht, East German Communist leader (1893-1973); Czeslaw Milosz, Czech poet and Nobel laureate (1911-2004); Lena Horne, U.S. singer (1917-2010); David Alan Grier, actor/comedian (1955--); Vincent D'Onofrio, U.S. actor (1959--).
Thought For Today:
I believe in the discipline of silence and can talk for hours about it — George Bernard Shaw, Irish-born playwright (1856-1950).