1859: French acrobat Blondin (born Jean Francois Gravelet) crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope as 5,000 spectators watched.
1934: Adolf Hitler began his "blood purge" of political and military leaders in Germany.
1936: The novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was published in New York.
1952: The Guiding Light, a radio program, made its TV debut.
1971: A Soviet space mission ended in tragedy when three cosmonauts aboard Soyuz 11 were found dead inside their spacecraft after it had returned to Earth.
1985: Thirty-nine American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after 17 days.