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 1869, Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16, premiered in Copenhagen.
In 1882, outlaw Jesse James was shot to death in St. Joseph, Mo., by Robert Ford, a member of James' gang.
In 1913, British suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst was sentenced to three years in jail for inciting supporters to bomb the home of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George. (Pankhurst, known for staging hunger strikes in prison, was repeatedly released and reincarcerated, serving roughly 30 days total behind bars.)
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, Lt. Gen. 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, Tenn., civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "mountaintop" speech to a rally of striking sanitation workers.
In 1974, deadly tornadoes struck wide parts of the South and Midwest before jumping across the border into Canada; more than 300 fatalities resulted.
In 1996, an Air Force jetliner carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and American business executives crashed in Croatia, killing all 35 people aboard.
Ten years ago: 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. Cuban security forces arrested the hijackers of a passenger ferry, rescuing nearly 50 hostages.
Five years ago: 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. Model Naomi Campbell was arrested at London Heathrow Airport after getting into an altercation with police during a dispute about lost luggage. (Campbell was later sentenced to 200 hours of community service and fined 2,300 pounds.) Ohio State defeated Massachusetts, 92-85, for the National Invitation Tournament title.
One year ago: Mitt Romney tightened his grip on the Republican presidential nomination, sweeping primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C. In a speech to the annual meeting of The Associated Press, President Barack Obama accused Republican leaders of becoming so radical and rigid that even the late Ronald Reagan could not win a GOP primary if he were running today. Baylor finished off an undefeated season with an 80-61 win over Notre Dame in the NCAA women's basketball championship game.
Today's Birthdays: Actress-singer Doris Day is 90. Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is 83. Conservationist Dame Jane Goodall is 79. Actor William Gaunt is 76. Actor Eric Braeden is 72. Actress Marsha Mason is 71. Singer Wayne Newton is 71. Singer Billy Joe Royal is 71. Singer Tony Orlando is 69. Comedy writer Pat Proft is 66. Folk-rock singer Richard Thompson is 64. Country musician Curtis Stone (Highway 101) is 63. Blues singer-guitarist John Mooney is 58. Rock musician Mick Mars (Motley Crue) is 57. Actor Alec Baldwin is 55. Actor David Hyde Pierce is 54. Rock singer John Thomas Griffith (Cowboy Mouth) is 53. Comedian-actor Eddie Murphy is 52. Rock singer-musician Mike Ness (Social Distortion) is 51. Rock singer Sebastian Bach is 45. Rock musician James MacDonough is 43. Olympic gold medal ski racer Picabo Street is 42. Actress Jennie Garth is 41. Actor Jamie Bamber is 40. Actor Adam Scott is 40. Comedian Aries Spears is 38. Actress Cobie Smulders is 31. Rock-pop singer Leona Lewis is 28. Actress Amanda Bynes is 27.