Today's History Trivia for April 3
1996 Clinton Cover Up Murder? U.S. President Clinton's Commerce Secretary Ron Brown is killed when his U.S. Air Force jet crashes into a mountainside during an attempted instrument approach to Dubrovnik, Croatia, while on an official trade mission. Brown was under investigation corruption and was preparing to negotiate plea bargains implicating President Clinton, prompting suspicions the crash was a cover up. He had stated he would not go to jail alone. Everyone on board died from the crash.
1991 Desert Storm The Persian Gulf War ends.
1975 Bobby Fischer forfeits the world chess title after refusing to defend it.
1973 Cell Phone The first portable cell phone call is made. General manager of Motorola's Communications Systems Division calls his rival at AT&T's Bell Labs from the streets of New York City.
1969 Jim Morrison The lead singer of The Doors, is arrested for exposing himself in front of a Miami concert audience the previous March. The charges were eventually dropped.
1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaims "I have been to the mountain top."
1965 First nuclear reactor in space NASA launches SNAP-10A.
1953 TV Guide The first issue of the popular guide is published.
1947 Juvenile Jury debuts on NBC, hosted by Jack Barry.
1946 Word War II Masaharu Homma, the Japanese General responsible for the Bataan Death March is executed for his war crimes.
1945 Bridge On the River Kwai The wooden railroad bridge in eastern Kanchanaburi is destroyed by an American B-24 bomber. This event was made famous by the book and movie.
1918 The American's Creed by William Tyler Page is accepted by the House of Representatives. "A government of the people, by the people, for the people… established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity." Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church
1889 First bank for and operated by blacks It opens for business in Virginia.
1860 First run of the Pony Express departs from St. Joseph, Missouri arriving in Sacramento, California on April 13.
Today's Birthdays for April 3
(Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois), French actress, singer. Her risqué and flamboyant routines made France's most-popular entertainer and the highest-paid female entertainer in the world.
1972 Jennie Garth American actress. TV: Beverly Hill, 90210 (Kelly).
1962 Brenda Ann Spencer American murderer. In 1979 at age 16, she opened fire on children in an elementary school playground, killing two adults and injuring eight children and a police officer. She claimed she did it because she didn't like Mondays. The Boomtown Rats hit I Don't Like Mondays (1980) was based on this event.
1961 Eddie Murphy (Edward Regan Murphy), American comedian. Film: 48 Hours (1982), Trading Places (1983), Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Dr. Dolittle (1998), and Shrek (2001, voice of Donkey). TV: Saturday Night Live.
1959 David Hyde Pierce American Emmy-winning actor. TV: Frasier (Dr. Niles Crane). Film: A Bug's Life (1998, voice of Slim the walking stick).
1958 Alec Baldwin (Alexander Rae Baldwin III), American actor, oldest of the "Baldwin brothers." Film: The Hunt for Red October (1990). TV: Doctors (Billy) and Knots Landing (Joshua).
1949 Lyle Alzado d. 1992 American football player, two-time All-Pro. As an amateur boxer, he fought an exhibition match against Muhammad Ali. He died of brain cancer, which he attributed to steroid abuse.
1944 Tony Orlando (Michael Cassavitis), American singer. Music: Knock Three Times (1971, #1), and Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree (1973, #1).
1942 Wayne Newton American cabaret singer, "Mr. Las Vegas". He performed over 25,000 concerts in Las Vegas.
1941 Jan Berry d. 2004 American singer, with Jan and Dean.
1934 Jane Goodall (Baroness Vanlawick-Goodall), British anthropologist. She is the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees.
1926 Virgil "Gus" Grissom d. 1967 American astronaut. One of the seven original Mercury astronauts and the first astronaut to go into space twice. He died with two other astronauts when Apollo 1 caught fire on the launch pad during a simulation.
1924 Marlon Brando d. 2004 American Oscar-winning actor. Film: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), The Wild One (1953), On the Waterfront (1954, Oscar), The Godfather (1972, Don Corleone), and Superman (1978, Superman's father).
1911 Stella Walsh d. 1980 (Stanislawa Walasiewicz), Polish-born Olympic gold medal winner (1932) and the first woman to run the 100-yard dash in under 11 seconds (10.8 sec., 1930). She received more than 5,000 medals and awards. After her death, it was found that she possessed male genitalia and had a mix of male and female chromosomes and characteristics.
1904 Iron Eyes Cody d. 1999 (Espera Oscar DeCorti), American actor. Film: Sitting Bull (1954) and A Man Called Horse (1970). He was featured in the teary-eyed ecology TV commercials (1970s and 80s). Although he claimed Cherokee/Cree heritage, he was actually the son of Sicilian immigrants and had no native American blood.
1893 Leslie Howard d. 1943 (Leslie Stainer), English actor. Film: Gone with the Wind (1939, Ashley Wilkes). He was killed by Nazis who, believing Winston Churchill was aboard, shot down his plane.
1885 Bud Fisher d. 1954 (Harry Conway Fisher), American cartoonist, created Mutt and Jeff (1907).
1859 Reginald De Koven d. 1920 American operatic composer. Music: Oh, Promise Me (1889), Robin Hood (1890), and The Golden Butterfly (1908).
1823 Boss Tweed d. 1878 (William Marcy Tweed), American politician, boss of Tammany Hall. It is estimated he stole between $30 and $200 million from New York City. He was portrayed in the film Gangs of New York (2002).
1822 Edward Everett Hale d. 1909 American author. Writings: The Man Without a Country (1863).
1783 Washington Irving d. 1859 American author. Writings: Rip Van Winkle (1819) and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1819). He also wrote under the names Diedrich Knickerbocker, Geoffrey Corson, Anthony Evergreen, and Jonathan Oldstyle.
Deaths for April 3
1996 Ron Brown b. 1941 American, Democratic National Party chairman, Commerce Secretary (1993-96). He and 34 other people died in a government plane crash, prompting government cover-up theories, based on Brown's being under investigation for corruption and having prepared to negotiate plea bargains implicating President Clinton.
1996 Carl Burton Stokes b. 1927 American politician, TV newscaster. He was the first black elected mayor of a major U.S. city (1967-72, Cleveland, Ohio).
1993 Pinky Lee b. 1914 (Pincus Leff), American children's TV show host, known for his lisp and checkered hat.
1991 Charles H. Goren b. 1901 American bridge expert, columnist, Goren on Bridge.
1988 Milton Caniff b. 1907 American cartoonist, creator of Terry and the Pirates (1934) and Steve Canyon (1947).
1976 David Mathias Dennison b. 1900 American theoretical physicist. He discovered the spin of the proton.
1936 Bruno Richard Hauptmann b. 1899 German-born carpenter. He was electrocuted for the kidnapping and murder (1932) of Charles Lindbergh's 20-month-old son. He proclaimed his innocence to the end.
1897 Johannes Brahms b. 1833 German composer.
1287 Honorius IV b. ???? Italian religious leader, 190th Pope (1285-87).