628 Apr 3, Chosroes II, emperor of Persia (579-628), was murdered by his son.
1367 Apr 3, John of Gaunt and Edward the Black Prince won the Battle of Najara, in Spain.
1971 Apr 3, Manfred Bennington Lee (65), detective writer, died. Brooklyn cousins Daniel Nathan, alias Frederic Dannay (1905-1982) and Manford Lepofsky, alias Manfred Bennington Lee (b.1905), used Ellery Queen as both a fictional character and a pseudonym.
1984 Apr 3, Coach John Thompson of Georgetown University became the first African-American coach to win an NCAA basketball tournament.
1994 Apr 3, Frank Wells, president of the Walt Disney Co., died in helicopter crash while returning from a ski trip in Nevada’s Ruby Mountains.
1996 Apr 3, Carl Stokes died of cancer AT 68. He was elected mayor of Cleveland in 1967, the first black mayor of a major US city. He had been on medical leave from his post since 1994 as ambassador to the Seychelles.
1999 Apr 3, Pres. Clinton authorized $50 million in emergency funds for Kosovo refugees and urged Americans to make donations.
1999 Apr 3, Lionel Bart, born as Lionel Beglieter, died at age 68 in London. He wrote and composed the 1960 musical “Oliver” based on the Dickens novel “Oliver Twist.”
2000 Apr 3, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled that Microsoft violated the Sherman Act by tying its Internet browser to its operating system, and by keeping “an oppressive thumb” on competitors during the race to link Americans to the Internet.
2001 Apr 3, President Bush warned China it risked damaging relations with the United States unless it quickly released the American crew of a damaged Navy spy plane. The plane had made an emergency landing in China after colliding with a Chinese fighter.
2005 Apr 3, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced plans for a jobs program aimed at militants.
2006 Apr 3, Former Liberian President Charles Taylor pleaded not guilty before an international war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone, denying he’d helped destabilize West Africa through killings, sexual slavery and sending children into combat.
2006 Apr 3, Dao Dinh Binh (61) Vietnam’s transport minister resigned and his deputy was arrested in a major corruption scandal in which public officials embezzled millions of dollars in government funds. The reformist newspapers Thanh Nien (Young people) and Tuoi Tre (Youth Daily) had published a joint expose of the transport ministry’s road building unit. In 2009 the government refused to renew the contracts for the papers.
2007 Apr 3, Eddie Robinson (b.1919), 56-year head football coach at Grambling College, died in Ruston, La.
2007 Apr 3, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told a meeting of Islamic clerics that Muslim nations should ultimately replace coalition forces in Iraq after a period of national reconciliation. Cliff Muntu (21), a student at Indonesia’s Institute of Public Administration (IPDN), died from wounds due to hazing by his seniors. This was the 35th death in the school since 1993.
2007 Apr 3, Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar lost an appeal against a decision by the electoral commission to bar him from this month’s presidential election. Two courts issued competing rulings on the disqualification, setting up a legal showdown just weeks before an election meant to solidify civilian rule in the country.
2007 Apr 3, Taiwan Presidential front-runner Ma Ying-jeou pleaded not guilty at his corruption trial in Taipei, saying that his use of a special municipal fund was in keeping with government standards. A helicopter crashed into a radio tower near Kaohsiung and killed 8 crew members.
2008 Apr 3, President Bush won NATO’s endorsement for his plan to build a missile defense system in Europe over Russian objections. The proposal also advanced with Czech officials announcing an agreement to install a missile tracking site for the system in their country. NATO decided not to put Georgia and Ukraine on track to join the alliance after vehement Russian opposition, but the alliance pledged that the strategically important Black Sea nations will become members one day.
2008 Apr 3, Wayne “Frosty Freeze” Frost (44), a hip-hop pioneer, died. His acrobatic performance with the legendary Rock Steady Crew in the 1983 movie “Flashdance” helped set off a worldwide breakdancing craze.
2008 Apr 3, President Hugo Chavez ordered the nationalization of Venezuela’s cement industry, saying his government cannot allow businesses to continue exporting raw materials needed to help tackle a domestic housing shortage.
2009 Apr 3, Hassan Abu-Jihaad, a former US Navy sailor, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for giving details of ship movements in 2001 to operators of a Web site in London that openly espoused violent jihad against the US.
2009 Apr 3, In France US Pres. Obama won enthusiastic support for his new Afghan war strategy from French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy, who pledged more police trainers and civilian aid.
2009 Apr 3, Malaysian PM Najib Razak, in his first act after talking office, freed 13 people being held under a law that allows indefinite detention and lifted a ban on two opposition newspapers.
2009 Apr 3, In Mexico Alberto Rayas Rodriguez (37), the chief homicide detective in western Jalisco state, was killed while on his way to a government event when gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on his car.
2011 Apr 3, Syrian President Bashar Assad appointed Adel Safar (58), a former agriculture minister, to form a new government. This was part of a series of overtures toward reform as the country faced a wave of anti-government protests.
2012 Apr 3, James Murdoch, under pressure over his role in Britain’s tabloid phone hacking scandal, stepped down as chairman of British Sky Broadcasting PLC (BSkyB).
2013 Apr 3, George Corvington (88), a prominent Haitian historian, died in Port-au-Prince. His 8-volume, French-language “Port-au-Prince Through the Ages” chronicled the political and social history of Port-au-Prince, from its founding under French colonial rule in 1749 to the departure of President Paul Magloire in 1956.
2014 Apr 3, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It banned the state government from limiting the free practice of religion effective July 1.