30 June 1859

French acrobat Charles Blondin crosses Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

Charles Blondin, born as Jean-François Gravelet (1824–1897), was a renowned French acrobat and tightrope walker who achieved worldwide fame for his daring and death-defying feats. One of his most famous and memorable acts was crossing the Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

On June 30, 1859, Blondin made his historic tightrope walk across Niagara Falls, which straddle the border between the United States (New York) and Canada (Ontario). The tightrope was approximately 1,100 feet (335 meters) long and suspended about 160 feet (49 meters) above the raging waters.

Blondin’s first crossing of the Falls was a significant event that drew an enormous crowd of spectators. Estimates suggest that as many as 25,000 people gathered on both sides of the border to witness the daring feat. He used a balancing pole to assist him on the rope and performed various tricks and stunts during his journey.

Over the years, Blondin completed several crossings of the Niagara Falls on the tightrope, each time pushing the boundaries of his performances. He performed blindfolded, on stilts, carrying a man on his back, and even cooked an omelette in the middle of the rope. These extraordinary acts not only demonstrated Blondin’s incredible balance and skill but also captivated audiences and solidified his reputation as a master showman.

Blondin’s crossings of the Niagara Falls on a tightrope made him an international sensation and brought him great fame and fortune. His performances attracted attention from all around the world, and he went on to tour extensively, showcasing his talents in various countries, including the United States, Europe, and Australia.

Throughout his career, Blondin continued to perform daring tightrope walks and entertain audiences with his audacious stunts. He became an inspiration to future generations of acrobats and tightrope walkers, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of circus and daredevilry.

Charles Blondin’s crossings of the Niagara Falls remain iconic moments in the history of acrobatics and spectacle. His courage, skill, and showmanship elevated him to legendary status, and his name is forever associated with this remarkable feat of human achievement.

30 June 1953

The very first iconic Chevrolet Corvette rolls off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan.

Sixty-three years ago at a small factory in Flint, Michigan on Van Slyke Road, the first 1953 Corvettes rolled off the assembly line and into automotive history. On June 30th 1953, these Chevrolet workers and executive gathered for a group photo around the VIN 001 Corvette.

In the early 1950’s, Harley Earl, GM’s head of styling, envisioned a low-cost American sports car that could compete with Europe’s Jaguar, MG’s and Ferrari. Codenamed “Opel”, the very first prototype made its debut in January 1953 at the GM Motorama show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The great reviews and pubic acclaim for the little white roadster prompted GM to fast track the Corvette into production and the first retail models were hand assembled in the back of the Chevrolet’s Customer Delivery Center in Flint, Michigan just six months later.

Chevrolet built 300 Corvettes over the course of the 1953 model year. A uniform design allowed the workers to concentrate on putting the bodies together without being distracted by trim and equipment variations. Therefore, all 1953 Corvettes were Polo White with Sportsman Red interiors and equipped with a canvas soft-top, 6.70 x 15 whitewall tires and a Delco signal-seeking radio. Also standard was a 5,000-rpm tachometer and a counter for total engine revolutions.

30 June 2013

19 firefighters die while fighting a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona.


The Yarnell Hill Fire was a wildfire near Yarnell, Arizona, ignited by lightning on June 28, 2013. On June 30, it overran and killed 19 City of Prescott firefighters, members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. It was the deadliest U.S. wildfire since the 1991 East Bay Hills fire, which killed 25 people; the deadliest wildland fire for U.S. firefighters since the 1933 Griffith Park Fire, which killed 29; and the deadliest incident of any kind for U.S. firefighters since the September 11, 2001, attacks, which killed 343. It is the sixth-deadliest American firefighter disaster overall and the deadliest wildfire ever in Arizona.

At 5:36 p.m. MST on June 28, 2013, lightning ignited a wildfire on BLM lands near Yarnell, Arizona, a town of approximately 700 residents about eighty miles northwest of Phoenix. On June 30, strong winds reaching more than 22 mph (35 km/h), pushed the fire from 300 acres to over 2,000 acres.A long-term drought affecting the area contributed to the fire’s rapid spread and erratic behavior, as did temperatures of 101 °F (38 °C).

By July 1 the fire had grown to over 8,300 acres and prompted the evacuation of the nearby community of Peeples Valley.The fire was still completely uncontrolled, with more than 400 firefighters on the line. On July 2 the fire was estimated at 8 percent containment and had not grown in the past 24 hours. By the end of the day on July 3, the fire was reportedly 45 percent contained and not growing thus allowing Peeples Valley residents to return to their homes on July 4.Four days later on July 8 residents of Yarnell were permitted to return. The fire was declared 100 percent contained on July 10.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said that 127 buildings in Yarnell and two in Peeples Valley had been destroyed. A “flash point” of the fire was the Glen Ilah neighborhood of Yarnell where fewer than half of the structures were burned.