What happened on this day in history: Jesus Christ is crucified, Jesse James is killed by Robert Ford, and more significant events on April 3rd.
33 C.E.: Jesus Christ Is Crucified
Jesus Christ is crucified (according to some estimates) outside Jerusalem in Golgotha. After being put on trial for blasphemy, Christ was sentenced to death by the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate. As told in the New Testament, Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross where he died, though Christians believe that he rose from the dead three days later.
1860: The Pony Express Begins
The Pony Express begins as relay teams on horseback leave from St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, to deliver mail. Though this form of mail delivery did not last long, it impressed many with its ability to deliver mail across the country in an average of 10 days. When the first transcontinental telegraph line was completed in October 1861, however, the Pony Express became largely obsolete.
1882: Jesse James Is Murdered
Jesse James is shot and killed by Robert Ford in Saint Joseph, Missouri, at the age of 34. One of the leaders of the James-Younger gang, James and his band of outlaws robbed more than 20 banks and trains, stole some $200,000, and murdered anyone who got in their way. Ford and his brother worked with the gang, but Ford decided to kill James for the $5,000 bounty.
1968: Martin Luther King Delivers ‘I’ve Been To The Mountaintop’ Speech
Martin Luther King delivers his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. In the speech, which King delivered in Memphis during the Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike, the civil rights leader noted, “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.” His words proved tragically prophetic, as King was assassinated the next day.
1973: The First Cell Phone Call Is Made
The first handheld cell phone call is made. It was made in New York City by Martin Cooper, a Motorola engineer, who called his rival, Joel Engel of Bell Laboratories at AT&T.
1996: The ‘Unabomber’ Is Arrested
Ted Kaczynski is arrested in rural Montana. Kaczynski had sent 16 mail bombs to universities and airlines over a two-decade span, earning him the moniker “Unabomber.” He was finally apprehended thanks to the investigative work of FBI criminal profiler James Fitzgerald who, with help from Kaczynski’s brother, was able to track him down.