On this day in history, April 3
1860 – The first successful United States Pony Express run from Saint Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California begins.
1865 – American Civil War: Union forces capture Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America.
1882 – American Old West: Jesse James is killed by Robert Ford.
1885 – Gottlieb Daimler is granted a German patent for his engine design.
1895 – The trial in the libel case brought by Oscar Wilde begins, eventually resulting in his imprisonment on charges of homosexuality.
1922 – Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
1929 – RMS Queen Mary is ordered from John Brown & Company Shipbuilding and Engineering by Cunard Line.
1936 – Bruno Richard Hauptmann is executed for the kidnapping and death of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., the baby son of pilot Charles Lindbergh.
1948 – President Harry S. Truman signs the Marshall Plan, authorizing $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.
1968 – Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech on the day before he was assassinated.
1969 – Vietnam War: United States Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird announces that the United States will start to "Vietnamize" the war effort.
1973 – Martin Cooper of Motorola makes the first handheld mobile phone call to Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs, though it took ten years for the DynaTAC 8000X to become the first such phone to be commercially released.
1975 – Bobby Fischer refuses to play in a chess match against Anatoly Karpov, giving Karpov the title of World Champion by default.
1981 – The Osborne 1, the first successful portable computer, is unveiled at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco.
1996 – Suspected "Unabomber" Theodore Kaczynski is captured at his cabin in Montana, United States.
1996 – A United States Air Force airplane carrying United States Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown crashes in Croatia, killing all 35 on board.