Brooklyn Today for March 5
Good morning. Today is the 64th day of the year. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of March 5, 1891, reported that Wiley G. Overton had been appointed the first African-American police officer in the city of Brooklyn. Since Brooklyn was later absorbed into New York City, Overton is widely regarded as the first black police officer in New York City. The first black officer to be appointed to the Greater New York police force, Samuel Battle, wasn’t appointed until 1911.
Overton was assigned to patrol what was then the main African-American area of Brooklyn, but resigned after two years because he couldn’t take the hostile attitude of most of the white police officers. Battle later faced similar hostility from fellow officers, but became respected after he saved a white officer from rioters in 1919.
Well-known people who were born today include economist Alan Greenspan, actress Amy Pietz, actor Rob Reiner (“All in the Family,” “When Harry Met Sally”), author Gabriel Garcia Marquez (‘A Hundred Years of Solitude”) and former basketball player Shaquille O’Neal.
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