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The Boston Globe

Lifestyle

This day in history

Wednesday, April 3, is the 93rd day of 2013. There are 272 days left in the year.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress-singer Doris Day is 90. Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is 83. Conservationist Dame Jane Goodall is 79. Actress Marsha Mason is 71. Singer Wayne Newton is 71. Singer Tony Orlando is 69. Folk-rock singer Richard Thompson is 64. Actor Alec Baldwin is 55. Actor David Hyde Pierce is 54. Comedian-actor Eddie Murphy is 52. Rock singer Sebastian Bach is 45. Olympic gold medal ski racer Picabo Street is 42. Actress Jennie Garth is 41. Actor Actress Cobie Smulders is 31. Actress Amanda Bynes is 27.

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In 1776, George Washington received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard College.

In 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.)

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

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 1946, Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma, the Japanese commander held responsible for the Bataan Death March, was executed by firing squad outside Manila.

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, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous ‘‘mountaintop’’ speech to a rally of striking sanitation workers.

In 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 .

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. Atlantic magazine editor Michael Kelly, 46, became the first American journalist to be killed while covering the Iraq war.

In 2008, NATO allies meeting in Bucharest, Romania, gave President George W. Bush strong support for a missile defense system in Europe and urged Moscow to drop its angry opposition to the program.

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