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May 3rd in history

Thursday, May 3, the 123rd day of 2018. There are 242 days left in the year.

Highlights in History:

On May 3, 1978, spam email was born as Gary Thuerk (thurk), a marketing executive for the Digital Equipment Corp. of Maynard, Massachusetts, transmitted an unsolicited sales pitch for a new line of computers to 400 prospective customers on ARPANET, a precursor to the internet; the stunt generated some business, as well as complaints. "Sun Day" took place on a Wednesday as thousands of people extolling the virtues of solar energy held events across the country.

On this date:

1515, Pope Leo X promulgated the bull "Inter sollicitudines" allowing the Catholic Church to review and censor books.

1791, the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania adopted a constitution.

1810, English poet Lord Byron, inspired by the Greek myth of Hero and Leander, swam across the Hellespont, a strait in present-day Turkey.

1916, Irish nationalists Padraic Pearse, Thomas Clarke and Thomas MacDonagh were executed by a British firing squad; they were among 16 people put to death for their roles in the Easter Rising.

1937, Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, "Gone with the Wind."

1948, the Supreme Court, in Shelley v. Kraemer, ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks or members of other racial groups were legally unenforceable.

1952, the Kentucky Derby was televised nationally for the first time on CBS; the winner was Hill Gail, ridden by Eddie Arcaro.

1960, the Harvey Schmidt-Tom Jones musical "The Fantasticks" began a nearly 42-year run at New York's Sullivan Street Playhouse.

1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain's first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labour government in parliamentary elections.

1986, in NASA's first post-Challenger launch, an unmanned Delta rocket lost power in its main engine shortly after liftoff, forcing safety officers to destroy it by remote control.

1999, some 70 tornadoes roared across Oklahoma and Kansas, killing 46 people and injuring hundreds.

2007, British girl Madeleine McCann vanished during a family vacation in Portugal nine days before her fourth birthday; her disappearance remains unsolved.

Ten years ago: Barack Obama defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton by seven votes out of more than 4,500 cast in the Guam Democratic presidential caucuses, meaning the candidates split the pledged delegate votes. Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby by 4 3/4 lengths. (Filly Eight Belles finished second and then broke both front ankles; she was euthanized on the track.)

Five years ago: President Barack Obama cast Mexico as a nation ready to take "its rightful place in the world" and move past the drug battles and violence that had defined its relationship with the United States; the president then headed to Costa Rica, where he told a press conference he didn't foresee any circumstance requiring the U.S. to send ground troops into Syria. Gunmen killed Chaudhry Zulfikar, Pakistan's lead prosecutor investigating the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto (BEN'-uh-zeer BOO'-toh), as he drove to court in the capital.

One year ago: President Donald Trump met at the White House with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (mahk-MOOD' ah-BAHS'), promising "to do whatever is necessary" to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. FBI Director James Comey told Congress that revealing the reopening of the Hillary Clinton email probe just before Election Day came down to a painful, complicated choice between "really bad" and "catastrophic" options, but in hindsight would have acted no differently. Actress Daliah Lavi, 74, died in Asheville, North Carolina.

Copyright 2018, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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