Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Sunday, April 3, the 94th day of 2016. There are 272 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 3, 1936, Bruno Hauptmann was electrocuted in Trenton, New Jersey, for the kidnap-murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr.

On this date:

In 1776, George Washington received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard College.

In 1860, the legendary Pony Express began carrying mail between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. (The delivery system lasted only 18 months before giving way to the transcontinental telegraph.)

In 1865, Union forces occupied the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.

In 1882, outlaw Jesse James was shot to death in St. Joseph, Missouri, by Robert Ford, a member of James’ gang.

In 1946, Lt. Gen. Masaharu Homma, the Japanese commander held responsible for the Bataan Death March, was executed by firing squad outside Manila.

In 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the Marshall Plan, designed to help European allies rebuild after World War II and resist communism.

In 1965, the United States launched the SNAP-10A nuclear power system into Earth orbit; it was the first nuclear reactor sent into space.

In 1968, the day before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “mountaintop” speech to a rally of striking sanitation workers.

In 1979, Democrat Jane M. Byrne was elected mayor of Chicago, defeating Republican Wallace D. Johnson.

In 1985, the landmark Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant closed after 56 years in business.

In 1991, English novelist Graham Greene died at age 86.

In 1996, Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski (kah-ZIHN’-skee) was arrested at his remote Montana cabin. An Air Force jetliner carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and American business executives crashed in Croatia, killing all 35 people aboard. Former Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes, the first black elected mayor of a major U.S. city, died at age 68.

Ten years ago: Former Liberian President Charles Taylor pleaded not guilty before an international war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone, denying he’d helped destabilize West Africa through killings, sexual slavery and sending children into combat. (Taylor was later convicted of all 11 counts against him, and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.) Florida beat UCLA, 73-57, to win its first NCAA title in men’s basketball. Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins and Joe Dumars were among six people elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Five years ago: The United States agreed to NATO’s request for a 48-hour extension of American participation in coalition air strikes against targets in Libya. Marine Lance Cpl. Harry Lew fatally shot himself at a remote Afghanistan patrol base; three Marines were court-martialed for alleged hazing. (Two were acquitted; one pleaded guilty to assault after admitting he’d punched and kicked Lew.)

One year ago: Information retrieved from the “black box” data recorder of a doomed German airliner showed its co-pilot repeatedly accelerated the plane before it slammed into a French mountainside, killing all 150 people on board. Pope Francis, presiding at the traditional Good Friday Colosseum procession, decried what he called the “complicit silence” about the killing of Christians. Frank Kaminsky, the 7-footer who anchored Wisconsin’s run to a second straight Final Four, was the runaway choice as The Associated Press’ player of the year; John Calipari of Kentucky was selected The Associated Press’ coach of the year. Sarah Brady, who became a gun control activist after her husband, James, was shot in the head in the attempt on President Ronald Reagan’s life, died in Alexandria, Virginia, at age 73, eight months after being widowed.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress-singer Doris Day is 93. Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is 86. Conservationist Dame Jane Goodall is 82. Actor William Gaunt is 79. Songwriter Jeff Barry is 78. Actor Eric Braeden is 75. Actress Marsha Mason is 74. Singer Wayne Newton is 74. Singer Tony Orlando is 72. Comedy writer Pat Proft is 69. Folk-rock singer Richard Thompson is 67. Country musician Curtis Stone (Highway 101) is 66. Blues singer-guitarist John Mooney is 61. Rock musician Mick Mars (Motley Crue) is 60. Actor Alec Baldwin is 58. Actor David Hyde Pierce is 57. Rock singer John Thomas Griffith (Cowboy Mouth) is 56. Comedian-actor Eddie Murphy is 55. Rock singer-musician Mike Ness (Social Distortion) is 54. Rock singer Sebastian Bach is 48. Rock musician James MacDonough is 46. Olympic gold medal ski racer Picabo Street is 45. Actress Jennie Garth is 44. Actor Jamie Bamber is 43. Actor Adam Scott is 43. Christian rock musician Drew Shirley (Switchfoot) is 42. Comedian Aries Spears is 41. Actor Matthew Goode is 38. Actress Cobie Smulders is 34. Rock-pop singer Leona Lewis is 31. Actress Amanda Bynes is 30. Actress-comedian Rachel Bloom (TV: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) is 29. Actress Hayley Kiyoko (TV: “CSI: Cyber”) is 25.

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