Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Apr 03, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Sunday, April 3, the 93rd day of 2011. There are 272 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 3, 1860, the legendary Pony Express began carrying mail between St. Joseph, Mo., and Sacramento, Calif. (The delivery system lasted only 18 months before giving way to the transcontinental telegraph.)

On this date:

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

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

In 1911, Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 63, had its world premiere in Helsinki, Finland, with Sibelius conducting.

In 1936, Bruno Hauptmann was electrocuted in Trenton, N.J. for the kidnap-murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr.

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

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

In 1968, the day before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "mountaintop" speech to a rally of striking sanitation workers. North Vietnam agreed to meet with U.S. representatives to set up preliminary peace talks.

In 1974, deadly tornadoes struck wide parts of the South and Midwest before jumping across the border into Canada; more than 300 fatalities resulted.

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

In 1996, an Air Force jetliner carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and American business executives crashed in Croatia, killing all 35 people aboard.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush warned China it risked damaging relations with the United States unless it quickly released the American crew of a damaged Navy spy plane. (The plane had made an emergency landing in China after colliding with a Chinese fighter.)

Five 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's case has yet to be decided.) 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.

One year 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. Connecticut senior Tina Charles was the runaway choice as The Associated Press' women's college basketball player of the year. Nebraska's Connie Yori was named The Associated Press' women's college basketball coach of the year.

Today's Birthdays: Actress-singer Doris Day is 88. Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is 81. Conservationist Dame Jane Goodall is 77. Actor William Gaunt is 74. Actor Eric Braeden is 70. Actress Marsha Mason is 69. Singer Wayne Newton is 69. Singer Billy Joe Royal is 69. Singer Tony Orlando is 67. Comedy writer Pat Proft is 64. Folk-rock singer Richard Thompson is 62. Country musician Curtis Stone (Highway 101) is 61. Blues singer-guitarist John Mooney is 56. Rock musician Mick Mars (Motley Crue) is 55. Actor Alec Baldwin is 53. Actor David Hyde Pierce is 52. Rock singer John Thomas Griffith (Cowboy Mouth) is 51. Comedian-actor Eddie Murphy is 50. Rock singer-musician Mike Ness (Social Distortion) is 49. Rock singer Sebastian Bach is 43. Rock musician James MacDonough is 41. Olympic gold medal ski racer Picabo Street is 40. Actress Jennie Garth is 39. Comedian Aries Spears is 36. Actress Cobie Smulders is 29. Rock-pop singer Leona Lewis is 26. Actress Amanda Bynes is 25.

Thought for Today: "The world is not black and white. More like black and grey." _ Graham Greene, English author (born 1904, died this date in 1991).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, April 3)

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