Today is Thursday, May 3, the 123rd day of 2018. There are 242 days left in the year.
On May 3, 1978, spam email was born as Gary Thuerk, a marketing executive for the Digital Equipment Corp. of Maynard, Mass., 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.
In 1515, Pope Leo X promulgated the bull "Inter sollicitudines" allowing the Catholic Church to review and censor books.
In 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania adopted a constitution.
In 1810, English poet Lord Byron, inspired by the Greek myth of Hero and Leander, swam across the Hellespont, a strait in present-day Turkey.
In 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.
In 1937, Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, "Gone with the Wind."
In 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.
In 1952, the Kentucky Derby was televised nationally for the first time on CBS; the winner was Hill Gail, ridden by Eddie Arcaro.
In 1960, the Harvey Schmidt-Tom Jones musical "The Fantasticks" began a nearly 42-year run at New York's Sullivan Street Playhouse.
In 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.
In 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.
In 1999, some 70 tornadoes roared across Oklahoma and Kansas, killing 46 people and injuring hundreds.
In 2007, British girl Madeleine McCann vanished during a family vacation in Portugal nine days before her fourth birthday; her disappearance remains unsolved.