TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Saturday April 3, the 93rd day of 2021. There are 272 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 3, 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.)

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 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 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 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 1996, Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski was arrested at his remote Montana cabin.

Today’s Birthdays: Conservationist Dame Jane Goodall is 87. Actor Eric Braeden is 80. Actor Marsha Mason is 79. Singer Wayne Newton is 79. Singer Tony Orlando is 77. Actor Alec Baldwin is 63. Actor David Hyde Pierce is 62. Comedian-actor Eddie Murphy is 60. Olympic gold medal ski racer Picabo Street is 50. Actor Jennie Garth is 49. Actor Amanda Bynes is 35.