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MILESTONES: August 24, birthdays for Stephen Fry, Ava DuVernay, Marlee Matlin

Brooklyn Today

August 24, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Comedian Stephen Fry poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film “Genius” in London on March 30. Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP
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NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include former boxer GERRY COONEY, who was born in 1956; U.S. Sen. BOB CORKER, who was born in 1952; director and producer AVA DuVERNAY, who was born in 1972; actor and novelist STEPEHEN FRY, who was born in 1957; baseball player RAFAEL FURCAL, who was born in 1978; author JOHN GREEN, who was born in 1977; actor RUPERT GRINT, who was born in 1988; actor STEVE GUTTENBERG, who was born in Brooklyn in 1958; TV host and former Arkansas Gov. MIKE HUCKABEE, who was born in 1955; TV personality CRAIG KILBORN, who was born in 1962; U.S. Sen. JOE MANCHIN III, who was born in 1947; Oscar Award-winning actress MARLEE MATLIN, who was born in 1965; author ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH, who was born in 1948; Hall of Fame basketball player REGGIE MILLER, who was born in 1965; actor CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY, who was born in 1981; actor ALEX O’LOUGHLIN, who was born in 1976; actor MICHAEL RICHARDS, who was born in 1950; Hall of Fame baseball player CAL RIPKEN JR., who was born in 1960; and composer MASON WILLIAMS, who was born in 1938.

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JORGE LUIS BORGES WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1899. The influential author, critic, poet and librarian was the director of the National Library of the Argentine Republic from 1955 to 1973. He created intellectually fantastical tales (collected in “Ficciones” and “The Aleph and Other Stories”). Borges died in 1986 in Switzerland.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. WAS INVADED ON THIS DAY IN 1814. British forces briefly invaded and raided Washington, D.C., burning the Capitol, the president’s house and most other public buildings. President James Madison and other high U.S. government officials fled to safety until British troops (not knowing the strength of their position) departed the city two days later.

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WILLIAM WILBERFORCE WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1759. The British politician and abolitionist was a member of the House of Commons and sponsored legislation that eventually abolished the slave trade and slavery in the British Dominions. Wilberforce died in 1833 in London — three days after passage of the Slavery Abolition Act.

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PLUTO WAS DEMOTED ON THIS DAY IN 2006. On the last day of the annual International Astronomical Union meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, 424 astronomers voted to demote Pluto from planet status. They determined that Pluto is instead a dwarf planet.

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DUKE KAHANAMOKU WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1890. The Olympic swimmer and “father of international surfing” won gold medals in the 100-meter freestyle at the 1912 Olympics and at the 1920 Olympics. In total, he won five medals in four Olympics. Credited with inventing the flutter kick, he enjoyed a long career, not retiring from competition until age 42. Kahanamoku was also Hawaii’s ambassador of surfing, popularizing the sport around the world. In 1917, on a 16-foot, 114-pound board, he rode a wave off Waikiki for 1.75 miles. The “Duke” acted in movies and served as sheriff of Honolulu, running alternately on Republican and Democratic tickets. Kahanamoku died in Honolulu in 1968.

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Special thanks to “Chase’s Calendar of Events” and Brooklyn Public Library.

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“If your dream is only about you, it’s too small.” — Ava DuVernay, who was born on this day in 1972


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