Brooklyn Today for November 21

November 21, 2013 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Good morning. Today is the 325th day of the year. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Nov. 21, 1860, contained an early reference to bonsai trees, or miniature trees. In a lecture at Plymouth Church, the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, used these as a metaphor for mankind’s condition.

As the Eagle wrote,  “The lecturer here alluded to the Chinese custom of dwarfing trees and flowers in pots — causing them to grow only to such a size as they desired, illustrative of the dwarfing of men’s souls and lofty aspirations.  Our ancestors, he said, were oaks, and would have as much soil for their roots as they could grasp, and they would reach away to the horizon or the zenith unpruned and unchecked by any gardener’s hand …  later, the Church, or the State, or some other organization meant to have men just according to their own measure — their roots should fit their pots exactly and be no bigger.”

Well-known people who were born today include conductor James DePriest, former baseball player Ken Griffey Jr., actress Goldie Hawn, actress Marlo Thomas (“That Girl”) and Icelandic singer-actress Bjork.

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