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1859

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

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.

1921

President Warren G. Harding appointed former president William H. Taft chief justice of the United States.

1934

Adolf Hitler secured his position in the Nazi party by a "blood purge," ridding the party of other leaders such as Ernst Roehm and Kurt von Schleicher.

1936

Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind was published.

1971

The 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18, was ratified by the states.

1998

The remains of a Vietnam War serviceman buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers were identified as those of Air Force pilot Michael J. Blassie.

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