TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Wednesday, April 3, the 93rd day of 2013. There are 272 days left in the year.
On April 3, 1973, the first handheld portable telephone was demonstrated for reporters on a New York City street corner as Motorola executive Martin Cooper contacted Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs using a Motorola device that, according to an AP story, looked like "a small, domesticated version of military walkie-talkies" and weighed less than three pounds.
On this date:
In 1860, the 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.)
In 1936, Bruno Hauptmann was electrocuted in Trenton, N.J. 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 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed 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. He was in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers.
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 2003, the House and Senate separately agreed to give President George W. Bush nearly $80 billion to carry out the battle against Iraq and terrorism.
Today's birthdays: Actress-singer Doris Day is 90. Conservationist Dame Jane Goodall is 79. Actress Marsha Mason is 71. Singer Wayne Newton is 71. Singer Billy Joe Royal is 71. Singer Tony Orlando is 69. Folk-rock singer Richard Thompson is 64. Country musician Curtis Stone (Highway 101) is 63. Blues singer-guitarist John Mooney is 58. Rock musician Mick Mars (Motley Crue) is 57. Actor Alec Baldwin is 55. Actor David Hyde Pierce is 54. Comedian-actor Eddie Murphy is 52. Rock singer Sebastian Bach is 45. Actress Jennie Garth is 41. Actor Jamie Bamber is 40. Actor Adam Scott is 40. Comedian Aries Spears is 38. Actress Cobie Smulders is 31. Rock-pop singer Leona Lewis is 28. Actress Amanda Bynes is 27.
Thought for today: "Nothing spoils a good party like a genius." -- Elsa Maxwell, American socialite (1883-1963).