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30th June

1859 French acrobat Charles Blondin, AKA Jean Francois Gravelet, walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

1891 * Sir Stanley Spencer, English artist known for his paintings set in his native Cookham.

1908 A powerful natural explosion from an unknown cause rocked the Tunguska Basin, in eastern Siberia, flattening hundreds of square miles of forest and resulting in tremors that could be felt hundreds of miles away.

1918 * Susan Hayward, US actress who won an Oscar for I Want To Live (1958).

1926 The first pop-up toasters went on sale by the McGraw Electric Co. in Minneapolis.

1936 The novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was published.

1939 * Tony Hatch, English pianist, composer and arranger of theme music for TV series.

1960 Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho had its première in New York.

1966 * Mike Tyson, US and world heavyweight boxing champion from 1986 to 1990.

1971 After a record 24 days in space, 3 Russian astronauts died after an oxygen failure.

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

1992 Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher took her place in the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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