Brooklyn Today: November 20, 2012

November 20, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Good morning. Today is the 325th day of the year. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Nov. 20, 1914, on its “Queens and Long Island” page, ran an article titled “Suffolk WCTU Hits at Demon Rum.” WCTU referred to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, a then-powerful nationwide organization that was pushing for prohibition of alcoholic beverages. Modern-day Brooklynites might be surprised to find out that the prohibitionists were very tied in with the early feminist movement, in many cases having the same members. They claimed that many men, instead of bringing their wages home to their families, instead spent it at the local saloon. While the prohibitionist movement was strong in rural America, most people in the big cities opposed it.

Well-known people who were born today include Vice President Joseph Biden, actress Bo Derek (“10,” “Bolero,” “Tarzan”), Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer, actor Richard Masur and comedian-folksinger Dick Smothers (“The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour”).

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Today from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m., MetroTech will hold its annual tree-lighting ceremony on the MetroTech Commons. There will be holiday songs by the Catfish Stew jazz band and the Brooklyn Technical High School band. In addition, there will be a special performance by the P.S. 146 elementary-school chorus, and Santa himself will make an appearance. The Christmas Tree itself, a 45-foot Norway spruce tree, comes from the mountains of North Carolina. The event will be hosted by Bruce Ratner, CEO of Forest City Ratner (owner of MetroTech), and the Rev. Herbert Daughtry of the House of the Lord Church.

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