On this day in 1997 Great Britain officially ceded Hong Kong to China after 156 years of ruling it as a colony. Hong Kong was, and still is one of the economic centers of the world and helped usher China into being one of the economic powers that it is just 15 years later. People were initially worried that a modern city such as Hong Kong would collapse after becoming part of communist China, but it has thrived like never before.
On this day in 1975 Cher caused a stir by marrying Greg Allman less than a week after divorcing Sonny Bono. This tumultuous marriage would only last 4 years, largely due to Allman's drug use. Cher filed for divorce just 10 days into the marriage after Allman abandoned Cher during their honeymoon to go on a drug binge and pass out. Cher recanted this to give it another try, but alas it wasn't meant to be.
On this day in 1859 daredevil Jean-Francois Gravelet crossed over Niagara Falls on a tight rope, thrilling a crowd of about 5,000 spectators. He walked 1,100 foot rope that hovered 160 feet above the Niagara River using only a pole for balancing. He would go onto a lengthy career of daredevil work that helped inspire future performers in the field.