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MILESTONES: September 25, birthdays for Mark Hamill, Barbara Walters, Scottie Pippen

Brooklyn Today

September 25, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Mark Hamill. Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
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On this day in 1935, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that Ethiopian troops closed the country’s border with Eritrea, forbidding trade. The political situation in Ethiopia was complex, with Britain and France preferring Italy as an ally and thus granting Italy free rein over East Africa. A week after the border closure, Italian Gen. Emilio De Bono, who in March 1935 was named commander-in-chief of all Italian forces in East Africa, marched into Ethiopia from Eritrea, doing so without the requisite declaration of war. Ethiopia responded by declaring war on Italy. Stateside, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was asking clergy nationwide for their viewpoints on the New Deal, which provided relief to the unemployed and elderly. The president believed that the clergy’s perspectives would be more accurate than those of government leaders. The Eagle reported on the first three pastors to respond. Although no Brooklyn clergy were reported among those consulted, the majority were in favor of New Deal benefits, along humanitarian lines.

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On this day in 1946, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that, amid a severe shortage of red meat, the Fort Green Retail Meat Market was calling out, “Come and Get It!” Its secret was having its own buyers out west and its own slaughterhouse, meaning that it could operate independently of the Black Market … Meanwhile, prayers were being said for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Borough Hall when the Rev. Benney S. Benson, pastor of the Greenpoint Reformed Church and county chaplain of the American Legion, got on his knees to pray for the Brooklyn Dodgers. “Lord, give the Dodgers an even break [to win the pennant],” he prayed. His prayer was solitary at first, until photographers’ flashbulbs grabbed the attention of crowds. He repeated the prayer for the public. The Dodgers would go on to tie for first place with the St. Louis Cardinals for the pennant, but the latter team won that year. And the Dodgers were without Jackie Robinson, who had been sent up to their farm team, the Montreal Royals.

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On this day in 1951, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported the ongoing saga of the corrupt top NYPD brass at the time. A grand jury blasted the corruption and demanded that District Attorney George P. Monaghan do a clean sweep of the NYPD. Ed Reid, I. Kaufman and Bert Hochman were the bylined investigative reporters. They — especially Reid — would win the Brooklyn Eagle its Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in Crime Reporting, also in 1951. … Brooklyn College President Harry D. Gideonse defended the promotion of Professor Belle Zeller to professor of the political science department, despite the charges of her being a communist. Gideonse said there was no evidence that Zeller hadn’t already passed muster from the Board of Higher Education. The college’s board voted to give Zeller full professorship, with one dissenting vote.

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NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include former basketball player CHAUNCEY BILLUPS, who was born in 1976; actor TATE DONAVAN, who was born in 1963; Oscar Award-winning actor, producer and director MICHAEL DOUGLAS, who was born in 1944; actor JORDAN GAVARIS, who was born in 1989; actor MARK HAMILL, who was born in 1951; TV personality JAMIE HYNEMAN, who was born in 1956; actress HEATHER LOCKLEAR, who was born in 1961; actor MICHAEL MADSEN, who was born in 1959; actor LEE NORRIS, who was born in 1981; sportscaster and Hall of Fame basketball player SCOTTIE PIPPEN, who was born in 1965; actor and singer WILL SMITH, who was born in 1968; actor ROBERT WALDEN, who was born in 1943; TV journalist BARBARA WALTERS, who was born in 1931; and Oscar Award-winning actress CATHERINE ZETA-JONES, who was born in 1969.

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CHRISTOPHER REEVE WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1952. The actor was best known for his portrayal of the title character in “Superman” and three sequels during the 1980s. After being paralyzed in a horseback riding accident, he was confined to a wheelchair and became an activist for spinal-cord research and awareness. Reeve died in New York in 2004.

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WALTER WESLEY “RED” SMITH WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1905. The Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist and newspaperman for 54 years, Red Smith was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He is considered by many to be the “nation’s most respected sportswriter.” Smith’s columns appeared in almost 500 newspapers. Smith died in Connecticut in 1982.

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THE FIRST AMERICAN NEWSPAPER WAS PUBLISHED ON THIS DAY IN 1690. The first (and only) edition of Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick was published by Benjamin Harris, at the London-Coffee-House in Boston. Authorities considered this first newspaper published in the U.S. offensive and ordered immediate suppression.

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WILLIAM FAULKNER WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1897. The Nobel Prize-winning novelist changed the style and structure of the American novel. Faulkner’s first novel, “Soldiers’ Pay,” was published in 1926. His best-known book, “The Sound and the Fury,” appeared in 1929. From 1930 until the onset of World War II, he published an incredible body of work. In June 1962 Faulkner published his last novel “The Reivers.”  Faulkner died in 1962 in Mississippi.

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THE PACIFIC OCEAN WAS DISCOVERED ON THIS DAY IN 1513. Vasco Núñez de Balboa, a Spanish conquistador, stood high atop a peak in the Darien, in present-day Panama, becoming the first European to look upon the Pacific Ocean, claiming it as the South Sea in the name of the king of Spain.

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SHEL SILVERSTEIN WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1930. The cartoonist and children’s author, best remembered for his poetry — which includes “A Light in the Attic” and “The Giving Tree” — won the Michigan Young Reader’s Award for “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” Also a songwriter, he wrote “The Unicorn Song” and “A Boy Named Sue.” Born at Chicago, Illinois, he died in Key West, Florida, in 1999.

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


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