Historical Events for 30th June 2022

1643 – Battle of Adwalton Moor: Royalists beat parliamentary army during First English Civil war
1758 – Seven Years’ War: The Battle of Domstadtl results in Austrian victory over Prussia in Moravia
1910 – Wimbledon Men’s Tennis: New Zealander Anthony Wilding beats Arthur Gore 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 for his 1st of 4 consecutive Wimbledon singles titles
1924 – J. B. M. Hertzog becomes Primes Minister, head of a coalition government between the National and Labour Parties in South Africa
1928 – Radio Service Bulletin lists radio stations call signs that are to be changed to conform with international standards
1936 – Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone With The Wind” published
1936 – 40 hour work week law approved for US federal employees
1966 – Richard Helms promoted from deputy director to 8th director of US Central Intelligence Agency
1992 – “End of the Road” single released by Boyz II Men (Grammy Award Best RandB Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best RandB Song 1993, Billboard Song of the Year 1992)
2002 – FIFA World Cup Final, International Stadium, Yokohama, Japan: Ronaldo scores twice as Brazil beats Germany, 2-0 to win record 5th title; first World Cup held in Asia

More Historical Events »

A first-time offender ends up on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List

Glen Godwin, a young business owner, is convicted of murder in Riverside County, California, and sentenced to 26-years-to-life in prison. According to his roommate’s testimony, Godwin stomped on, choked, and then stabbed Kim LeValley, an acquaintance and local drug dealer, 28 times before using homemade explosives to blow up his body in the desert near Palm Springs. Godwin, who had no previous record, eventually found his way onto the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.

In 1985, while serving his sentence at Soledad Prison, Godwin married Shelley Rose. He was then transferred to Folsom Prison, a maximum-security facility, where he escaped through a 300-yard storm drain and floated across the American River on a raft to freedom in June 1987. Apparently gaining assistance from someone who cut the iron bars on the storm drain from the outside, Godwin was the third person to escape from Folsom in 25 years. Lorenz Karlic, who had once shared a cell with Godwin, was arrested in Hesperia, California, for aiding Godwin in his escape.

After two years without any leads on either Glen or Shelley, who was last seen renting a car at the San Jose Airport, authorities were notified of a man in a Mexican prison under the name of Stewart Carrera, whose fingerprints matched those of Godwin’s. Reportedly, Mexican authorities had arrested Glen on drugs and weapons charges six months after his escape.

While California officials were working to have Godwin extradited back to the United States, he murdered a fellow inmate in Puerto Vallarta Prison—an attempt to avoid returning to the high security prisons in California. Shortly thereafter, he escaped from the Mexican jail.

In December 1996, Godwin appeared on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. Shelley Godwin, who, unbeknownst to California law enforcement officials, had divorced her husband and remarried in Texas, was apprehended in Dallas when a story on the Godwin case appeared on television’s America’s Most Wanted, but Glen Godwin remains at large.

He was removed from the Most Wanted List in May 2016. 

“Do the Right Thing” released in theaters

On June 30, 1989, the writer-director Spike Lee’s celebrated third feature film, Do the Right Thing—a provocative drama that takes place on one block in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, on the hottest day of the year—is released in U.S. theaters.

The block in question is home to Sal’s Famous Pizzeria, the only white-owned business in the neighborhood. Mookie (played by Lee) delivers pizza for Sal (Danny Aiello); he is friendly with Sal’s younger son, Vito (Richard Edson), a fact that angers Vito’s brother, Pino (John Turturro), who resents the Black majority in the neighborhood. As various characters talk and circulate around Sal’s and the nearby Korean-owned convenience store, tensions build to the breaking point, and violence breaks out, with tragic consequences. Among Do the Right Thing’s memorable supporting characters are the neighborhood staples Da Mayor and Mother-Sister (real-life couple Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee); Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn), who continually blasts Public Enemy’s rap song “Fight the Power” from his massive boom box; Mookie’s sister (Joie Lee, Spike’s own sister); his Puerto Rican girlfriend Tina (Rosie Perez, making her feature film debut); and the smooth-talking radio disc jockey Mister Señor Love Daddy (Samuel L. Jackson).

Upon its release, Do the Right Thing caused a sensation for its incendiary portrayal of race relations, including specific allusions to some notorious recent events in New York. Some critics, including David Denby (then of New York magazine) speculated that the film would incite Black audiences to anger and violence. In an interview with New York magazine in April 2008, Lee recalled of the controversy: “One of the big criticisms was that I had not provided an answer for racism in the movie, which is insane. And what’s even more insane is people like Joe Klein [who also wrote about the film for New York] and David Denby felt that this film was going to cause riots. Young Black males were going to emulate Mookie and throw garbage cans through windows. Like, ‘How dare you release this film in summertime: You know how they get in the summertime, this is like playing with fire.’ I hold no grudges against them. But that was 20 years ago and it speaks for itself.”

Nominated for two Oscars—Best Supporting Actor for Aiello and Best Original Screenplay for Lee—Do the Right Thing was later called “culturally significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress and stands to this day as one of Hollywood’s most notable portrayals of modern-day racial tensions.

“Gone With the Wind” published

Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, one of the best-selling novels of all time and the basis for a blockbuster 1939 movie, is published on June 30, 1936.

In 1926, Mitchell was forced to quit her job as a reporter at the Atlanta Journal to recover from a series of physical injuries. With too much time on her hands, Mitchell soon grew restless. Working on a Remington typewriter, a gift from her second husband, John R. Marsh, in their cramped one-bedroom apartment, Mitchell began telling the story of an Atlanta belle named Pansy O’Hara.

In tracing Pansy’s life from the antebellum South through the Civil War and into the Reconstruction era, Mitchell drew on the tales she had heard from her parents and other relatives, as well as from Confederate war veterans she had met as a young girl. The story presents a romanticized view of the Old South and does not engage with the horrors of slavery. While she was extremely secretive about her work, Mitchell eventually gave the manuscript to Harold Latham, an editor from New York’s MacMillan Publishing. Latham encouraged Mitchell to complete the novel, with one important change: the heroine’s name. Mitchell agreed to change it to Scarlett.

Published in 1936, Gone With the Wind caused a sensation in Atlanta and went on to sell millions of copies in the United States and throughout the world. The book drew criticism for its whitewashed depictions of slavery. Mitchell nonetheless won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937, and by that time a movie project was already in the works. The film was produced by Hollywood giant David O. Selznick, who paid Mitchell a record-high $50,000 for the film rights to her book.

After testing hundreds of unknowns and big-name stars to play Scarlett, Selznick hired British actress Vivien Leigh days after filming began. 

Though she didn’t take part in the film adaptation of her book, Mitchell did attend its premiere in December 1939 in Atlanta. She died just 10 years later, after she was struck by a speeding car while crossing Atlanta’s Peachtree Street. 

This Day in History: 06/30/1936 – Gone with the Wind published (TV-PG; 1:00)

Hitler purges members of his own Nazi party in Night of the Long Knives

In Germany, Nazi leader 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. The leadership of the Nazi Storm Troopers (SA), whose four million members had helped bring Hitler to power in the early 1930s, was especially targeted. Hitler feared that some of his followers had taken his early “National Socialism” propaganda too seriously and thus might compromise his plan to suppress workers’ rights in exchange for German industry making the country war-ready.

In the early 1920s, the ranks of Hitler’s Nazi Party swelled with resentful Germans who sympathized with the party’s bitter hatred of Germany’s democratic government, leftist politics, and Jews. In November 1923, after the German government resumed the payment of war reparations to Britain and France, the Nazis launched the “Beer Hall Putsch“—their first attempt at seizing the German government by force. Hitler hoped that his nationalist revolution in Bavaria would spread to the dissatisfied German army, which in turn would bring down the government in Berlin. However, the uprising was immediately suppressed, and Hitler was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for high treason.

Sent to Landsberg jail, he spent his time dictating his autobiography, Mein Kampf, and working on his oratorical skills. After nine months in prison, political pressure from supporters of the Nazi Party forced his release. During the next few years, Hitler and the other leading Nazis reorganized their party as a fanatical mass movement. In 1932, President Paul von Hindenburg defeated a presidential bid by Hitler, but in January 1933 he appointed Hitler chancellor, hoping that the powerful Nazi leader could be brought to heel as a member of the president’s cabinet.

However, Hindenburg underestimated Hitler’s political audacity, and one of the new chancellor’s first acts was to use the burning of the Reichstag building as a pretext for calling general elections. The police, under Nazi Hermann Goering, suppressed much of the party’s opposition before the election. The Nazi Party joined forces with the German National People’s Party (DNVP), to gain a bare working majority in the Reichstag. Shortly after, Hitler took on absolute power through the Enabling Acts. In 1934, Hindenburg died, and the last remnants of Germany’s democratic government were dismantled, leaving Hitler the sole master of a nation intent on war and genocide.

READ MORE: How the Hitler Youth Turned a Generation of Kids Into Nazis

Soviet cosmonauts perish in reentry disaster

The three Soviet cosmonauts who served as the first crew of the world’s first space station die when their spacecraft depressurizes during reentry.

On June 6, the cosmonauts Georgi Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev were launched into space aboard Soyuz 11 on a mission to dock and enter Salyut 1, the Soviet space station that had been placed in orbit in April. The spacecraft successfully docked with the station, and the cosmonauts spent 23 days orbiting the earth. On June 30, they left Salyut 1 and began reentry procedures. When they fired the explosive bolts to separate the Soyuz 11 reentry capsule from another stage of the spacecraft, a critical valve was jerked open.

One hundred miles above the earth, the capsule was suddenly exposed to the nearly pressureless environment of space. As the capsule rapidly depressurized, Patsayev tried to close the valve by hand but failed. Minutes later, the cosmonauts were dead. As a result of the tragedy, the Soviet Union did not send any future crews to Salyut 1, and it was more than two years before they attempted another manned mission.

READ MORE: The Space Race: Timeline, Cold War & Facts

Spanish retreat from Aztec capital

June 30, 1520: Faced with an Aztec revolt against their rule, forces under the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés fight their way out of Tenochtitlan at heavy cost. Known to the Spanish as La Noche Triste, or “the Night of Sadness,” many soldiers drowned in Lake Texcoco when the vessel carrying them and Aztec treasures hoarded by Cortés sank. Montezuma II, the Aztec emperor who had become merely a subject of Cortés in the previous year, was also killed during the struggle; by the Aztecs or the Spanish, it is not known.

Tenochtitlan was founded in 1325 A.D. by a wandering tribe of hunters and gatherers on islands in Lake Texcoco, near the present site of Mexico City. In only one century, this civilization grew into the Aztec Empire, due largely to its advanced system of agriculture. The empire came to dominate central Mexico and by the ascendance of Montezuma II in 1502 had reached its greatest extent, reaching as far south as perhaps modern-day Nicaragua. At the time, the empire was held together primarily by Aztec military strength, and Montezuma II set about establishing a bureaucracy, creating provinces that would pay tribute to the imperial capital of Tenochtitlan. The conquered peoples resented the Aztec demands for tribute and victims for the religious sacrifices, but the Aztec military kept rebellion at bay.

READ MORE: 8 Astonishing Ancient Sites in the Americas

Meanwhile, Hernán Cortés, a young Spanish-born noble, came to Hispaniola in the West Indies in 1504. In 1511, he sailed with Diego Velazquez to conquer Cuba and twice was elected mayor of Santiago, the capital of Hispaniola. In 1518, he was appointed captain general of a new Spanish expedition to the American mainland. Velazquez, the governor of Cuba, later rescinded the order, and Cortés sailed without permission. He visited the coast of Yucatan and in March 1519 landed at Tabasco in Mexico’s Bay of Campeche with 500 soldiers, 100 sailors, and 16 horses. There, he won over the locals and was given an enslaved woman, Malinche—baptized Marina—who later bore him a son. She knew both Maya and Aztec and served as an interpreter. The expedition then proceeded up the Mexican coast, where Cortes founded Veracruz, mainly for the purpose of having himself elected captain general by the colony, thus shaking off the authority of Velazquez and making him responsible only to King Charles V of Spain.

At Veracruz, Cortés trained his army and then burned his ships to ensure loyalty to his plans for conquest. Having learned of political strife in the Aztec Empire, Cortés led his force into the Mexican interior. On the way to Tenochtitlan, he clashed with locals, but many of these peoples, including the nation of Tlaxcala, became his allies after learning of his plan to conquer their hated Aztec rulers. Hearing of the approach of Cortes, with his frightful horses and sophisticated weapons, Montezuma II tried to buy him off, but Cortes would not be dissuaded. On November 8, 1519, the Spaniards and their 1,000 Tlaxcaltec warriors were allowed to enter Tenochtitlan unopposed.

Montezuma suspected them to be divine envoys of the god Quetzalcoatl, who was prophesied to return from the east in a “One Reed” year, which 1519 was on the Aztec calendar. The Spaniards were greeted with great honor, and Cortés seized the opportunity, taking Montezuma hostage so that he might govern the empire through him. His mistress, Marina, was a great help in this endeavor and succeeded in convincing Montezuma to cooperate fully.

READ MORE: How Hernán Cortés Conquered the Aztec Empire

In the spring of 1520, Cortés learned of the arrival of a Spanish force from Cuba, led by Panfilo Narvaez and sent by Velazquez to deprive Cortés of his command. Cortés led his army out of Tenochtitlan to meet them, leaving behind a garrison of 80 Spaniards and a few hundred Tlaxcaltecs to govern the city. Cortés defeated Narvaez and enlisted Narvaez’ army into his own. When he returned to Tenochtitlan in June, he found the garrison under siege from the Aztecs, who had rebelled after the subordinate that Cortés left in command of the city massacred several Aztec chiefs, and the population on the brink of revolt. On June 30, under pressure and lacking food, Cortés and his men fled the capital at night. In the fighting that ensued, Montezuma was killed—in Aztec reports by the Spaniards, and in Spanish reports by an Aztec mob bitter at Montezuma’s subservience to Spanish rule. He was succeeded as emperor by his brother, Cuitlahuac.

During the Spaniards’ retreat, they defeated a large Aztec army at Otumba and then rejoined their Tlaxcaltec allies. In May 1521, Cortés returned to Tenochtitlan, and after a three-month siege the city fell. This victory marked the fall of the Aztec empire. Cuauhtemoc, Cuitlahuac’s successor as emperor, was taken prisoner and later executed, and Cortés became the ruler of vast Mexican empire.

The Spanish conquistador led an expedition to Honduras in 1524 and in 1528 returned to Spain to see the king. Charles made him Marques del Valle but refused to name him governor because of his quarrels with Velazquez and others. In 1530, he returned to Mexico, now known as New Spain, and found the country in disarray. After restoring some order, he retired to his estate south of Mexico City and sent out maritime expeditions from the Pacific coast. In 1540, he returned to Spain and was neglected by the court. He died in 1547.

Daredevil crosses Niagara Falls on tightrope

Jean Francois Gravelet, a Frenchman known professionally as Charles Blondin, becomes the first daredevil to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. The feat, which was performed 160 feet above the Niagara gorge just down river from the Falls, was witnessed by some 5,000 spectators. Wearing pink tights and a yellow tunic, Blondin crossed a cable about two inches in diameter and 1,100-feet long with only a balancing pole to protect him from plunging into the dangerous rapids below.

It was the first in a series of famous Niagara tightrope walks performed by “The Great Blondin” from 1859 to 1860. These “ascensions,” as he advertised them, always had different theatrical variations, including doing tightrope walks blindfolded, in a sack, with his manager on his back, sitting down midway to cook an omelet, and pushing a wheelbarrow across while dressed as an ape. In 1861, he performed at the Crystal Palace in London, turning somersaults on stilts on a rope stretched 170 feet above the ground. He died in 1897.

READ MORE: A Daredevil History of Niagara Falls 

Soviet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov defects from U.S.S.R.

Considered one of the world’s greatest ballet dancers of all time, Soviet virtuoso Mikhail Baryshnikov choreographs his own Cold War-era defection from the U.S.S.R. after four years of planning.

Known as “Misha” to his admirers, Baryshnikov, then 26, finished a performance with the Leningrad-based Kirov Ballet in Toronto while on a Canadian tour, and then evaded his KGB handlers, disappearing into the crowd outside, hopping into a waiting car and hiding out until he was officially granted political asylum in Canada. Soon after, he received political asylum in the United States, where he became principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet. He became a U.S. citizen on July 3, 1986.

Baryshnikov called the defection an artistic choice rather than a political one.

“When I was in Toronto, I finally decided that if I let the opportunity of expanding my art in the West slip by, it would haunt me always,” he told The Globe and Mail in his first post-defection interview. “What I have done is called a crime in Russia … But my life is my art and I realized it would be a greater crime to destroy that. I want to work with some of the West’s great choreographers if they think I am worthy of their creations.”

Baryshnikov told People magazine in 1985 that the defection unfolded like a thriller.

“It was arranged secretly through friends,” he said. “I was running, the getaway car was waiting a few blocks away as we were boarding on the group’s bus. KGB was watching us. It was actually funny. Fans are waiting for me outside the stage door, and I walk out and I start to run, and they start to run after me for autograph. They were laughing, I was running for my life. It was very emotional moment, I tell you.”

Wounded soldiers evacuated from the Little Big Horn by steamboat

After a slow two-day march, the wounded soldiers from the Battle of the Little Big Horn reach the steamboat Far West.

The Far West had been leased by the U.S. Army for the duration of the 1876 campaign against the Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne tribes of the Northern Plains. Under the command of the skilled civilian Captain Grant Marsh, the 190-foot vessel was ideal for navigating the shallow waters of the Upper Missouri River system. The boat drew only 30 inches of water when fully laden and Marsh managed to steam up the shallow Big Horn River in southern Montana in June 1876. There, the boat became a headquarters for the army’s planned attack on a village of Sioux and Cheyenne they believed were camping on the nearby Little Big Horn River.

On June 28, Captain Grant and several other men were fishing about a mile from the boat when a young Native American on horseback approached. “He wore an exceedingly dejected countenance,” one man later wrote. By signing and drawing on the ground, the tribesman managed to convey that there had been a battle but the men did not understand its outcome. In fact, the Native American was Curley, one of Lieutenant Colonel George Custer’s Crow scouts. Three days earlier, he had been the last man to see Custer and his 7th Cavalry battalion before they were wiped out during the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

The following day, Grant received a dispatch from General Terry, who had found Custer’s destroyed battalion and the surviving soldiers of the 7th Cavalry. Terry ordered Grant to prepare to evacuate the wounded soldiers. Slowed by the burden of carrying the wounded men, Terry’s force did not arrive until June 30. Grant immediately received the 54 wounded soldiers and sped downstream as quickly as possible. With the Far West draped in black and flying her flag at half-mast, Grant delivered the wounded to Fort Abraham Lincoln near Bismarck, North Dakota, at 11:00 p.m. on July 5.

The fast and relatively comfortable transport of the wounded by steam power undoubtedly saved numerous lives. Yet, Grant was also the bearer of bad news. From Fort Abraham Lincoln, General Terry’s report of the disaster was telegraphed all over the country. Soon the entire nation learned that General Custer and more than 200 men had been killed along the Little Big Horn River.

READ MORE: What Really Happened at the Battle of the Little Bighorn?