Pony Express begins, 1860
By The Associated Press
Today is Friday, April 3, the 94th day of 2020. There are 272 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 3, 1996, Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski was arrested at his remote Montana cabin.
On this date:
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 1882, outlaw Jesse James was shot to death in St. Joseph, Missouri, by Robert Ford, a member of James’ gang.
In 1936, Bruno Hauptmann was electrocuted in Trenton, New Jersey, for the kidnap-murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr.
In 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces began their final assault on Bataan against American and Filipino troops who surrendered six days later; the capitulation was followed by the notorious Bataan Death March.
In 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Smith v. Allwright, struck down a Democratic Party of Texas rule that allowed only white voters to participate in Democratic primaries.
In 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the Marshall Plan, designed to help European allies rebuild after World War II and resist communism.
In 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. delivered what turned out to be his final speech, telling a rally of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, that “I’ve been to the mountaintop” and “seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!” (About 20 hours later, King was felled by an assassin’s bullet at the Lorraine Motel.)
In 1973, the first handheld portable telephone was demonstrated for reporters on a New York City street corner as Motorola executive Martin Cooper called Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs.
In 1990, jazz singer Sarah Vaughan died in suburban Los Angeles at age 66.
In 1991, English novelist Graham Greene died at age 86.
In 1996, an Air Force jetliner carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and American business executives crashed in Croatia, killing all 35 people aboard.
In 2003, moving with a sense of wartime urgency, the House and Senate separately agreed to give President George W. Bush nearly $80 billion to carry out the battle against Iraq and meet the threat of terrorism.
Ten years ago: The leader of the Anglican church, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, said in remarks released by the BBC that the Roman Catholic church in Ireland had lost all credibility because of its mishandling of abuse by priests. White supremacist Eugene TerreBlanche, 68, was bludgeoned to death on his South African farm in a dispute with black farm workers over wages.