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Today in history: April 3

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, April 3, the 93rd day of 2005. There are 272 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 3, 1860, the legendary Pony Express began service between St. Joseph, Mo., and Sacramento, Calif.

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

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

In 1948, President Truman signed the Marshall Plan, which allocated more than $5 billion in aid for 16 European countries.

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

In 1968, 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 1985, the landmark Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood closed after 56 years in business.

Ten years ago: Former United Way of America President William Aramony was convicted in Alexandria, Va., of 25 counts of fraud for stealing nearly $600,000 from the nation’s biggest charity. UCLA defeated Arkansas, 89-78, to win the NCAA basketball championship.

Five years ago: A federal judge in Washington ruled that Microsoft Corp. had violated U.S. antitrust laws by keeping “an oppressive thumb” on competitors during the race to link Americans to the Internet. Michigan State won its second NCAA championship, defeating Florida, 89-76.

One year ago: Surrounded by police, five suspects in the Madrid railway bombings blew themselves up in a building outside the Spanish capital, also killing a special forces agent. Soccer player Freddy Adu, age 14, became the youngest athlete in a major American professional sport in well over a century as he entered a game between his team, D.C. United, and the San Jose Earthquakes (D.C. United won, 2-1).

Today’s Birthdays: Actress-singer Doris Day is 81. Actor Kevin Hagen is 77. Actress Miyoshi Umeki is 76. Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is 75. Jazz musician Jimmy McGriff is 69. Actor William Gaunt is 68. Actress Marsha Mason is 63. Singer Wayne Newton is 63. Singer Billy Joe Royal is 63. Singer Tony Orlando is 61. Comedy writer Pat Proft is 58. Singer Richard Thompson is 56. Country musician Curtis Stone (Highway 101) is 55. Rock musician Mick Mars (Motley Crue) is 49. Actor Alec Baldwin is 47. Actor David Hyde Pierce is 46. Comedian-actor Eddie Murphy is 44. Rock singer-musician Mike Ness (Social Distortion) is 43. Rock singer Sebastian Bach is 37. Rock musician James MacDonough (Megadeth) is 35. Actress Jennie Garth is 33. Actress Amanda Bynes is 19.

Thought for Today: “Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can.” — Elsa Maxwell, American socialite (1883-1963).