April 3, 2020
Day 94 of 366
April 3rd is the ninety-fourth day of the year. It is World Party Day, a day of global celebration and joy. Under the circumstances, we should all party with our friends and families virtually, maybe over Skype or Zoom, or even through an online gaming platform. I wish you a bright celebration of life today.
Historical items of note:
- In 1783, Washington Irving was born. He was the American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian who wrote Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and encouraged other American authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe through his successes in Europe.
- In 1860, the first successful United States Pony Express run from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, began.
- In 1865, Union forces captured Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America. The American Civil War would end just over a month later.
- In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler was granted a German patent for his engine design.
- In 1888, the first of eleven unsolved brutal murders of women committed in or near the impoverished Whitechapel district in the East End of London occurred. These murders were attributed to the mysterious Jack the Ripper.
- In 1895, the trial in the libel case brought by Oscar Wilde begins. The trial would eventually result in his imprisonment on charges of homosexuality.
- In 1922, singer and actress Doris Day was born.
- In 1926, astronaut Gus Grissom was born.
- In 1934, English primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall was born.
- In 1946, Japanese Lt. General Masaharu Homma was executed in the Philippines for leading the Bataan Death March.
- In 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the Marshall Plan, authorizing $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.
- In 1955, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that it would defend Allen Ginsberg’s book Howl against obscenity charges. Howl denounced what Ginsberg saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States, as well as reflecting his own sexual orientation while describing heterosexual and homosexual sex at a time when sodomy laws made homosexual acts a crime in every state.
- In 1958, actor, comedian, and producer Alec Baldwin was born.
- In 1959, actor and activist David Hyde Pierce was born.
- In 1961, actor and comedian Eddie Murphy was born.
- In 1969, actor Ben Mendelsohn was born.
- In 1973, Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first handheld mobile phone call to Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs.
- Also in 1973, actor Jamie Bamber was born.
- In 1975, Bobby Fischer refused to play in a chess match against Anatoly Karpov, giving Karpov the title of World Champion by default.
- In 1980, the United States Congress restored a federal trust relationship with the 501 members of the Shvwits, Kanosh, Koosharem, and the Indian Peaks and Cedar City bands of the Paiute people of Utah.
- In 1982, actress Cobie Smulders was born.
- In 1989, the United States Supreme Court upheld the jurisdictional rights of tribal courts under the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 in Mississippi Choctaw Band v. Holyfield.
- In 1996, the “Unabomber”, Theodore Kaczynski, was captured at his Montana cabin. Between 1978 and 1995, he killed three people and injured 23 others in an attempt to start a revolution by conducting a nationwide bombing campaign targeting people involved with modern technology. In 1998, a plea bargain was reached under which he pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to eight consecutive life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole.
- In 2010, Apple Inc. released their first iPad tablet computer.
In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in Memphis, Tennessee.
The speech primarily concerned the Memphis Sanitation Strike, calling for unity, economic actions, boycotts, and nonviolent protest, while challenging the United States to live up to its ideals. At the end of the speech, he discussed the possibility of an untimely death. He would be assassinated the very next day.
Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live – a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve 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. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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