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MILESTONES: September 27, birthdays for Lil Wayne, Avril Lavigne, Carrie Brownstein

Brooklyn Today

September 27, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Lil Wayne. Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP
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On this day in 1915, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that the Rev. Dr. Newell Dwight Hillis, senior minister of famed Plymouth Church, had learned an important but painful lesson about trusting his business agent too much. Hillis, facing financial hardship, turned his business affairs over to Frank L. Ferguson, who was the president of Plymouth’s board of trustees. Hillis was pressured to “confess” that he had sought material gain. Ferguson attacked the minister publicly, accusing him of immoral behavior and speculating. According to archival documents of the Brooklyn Historical Society that are available online, Col. William C. Beecher joined with a group of other prominent church leaders to defend Hillis and state confidence in him as a pastor. Col. Beecher was the son of Plymouth Church’s founder, the Rev. Dr. Henry Ward Beecher. Hillis chose to ignore Ferguson’s attacks until the court action.

During his pastorate, Hillis published about 1,000 sermons, one each week in the Eagle. There are more than 20 published volumes of Hillis’ writings, including sermon collections, and even a novel. Some of his speeches were published as tracts as well. Plymouth’s community hall is named for Hillis.

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On this day in 1940, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page announced the famous Axis treaty between Germany, Italy and Japan that divided Europe and Asia. Reports from Berlin said that Tokyo, Germany and Italy now “wielded a new totalitarian bloc.” This 18-year military and economic treaty ushered in a “new order,” and pledged the three powers’ readiness to wage war against the United States and nations allied with them.

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On this day in 1951, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported a shocking development in the ongoing saga of the Harry Gross corruption trial — and bad news to all those eagerly awaiting revelation of the police brass involvement. Eagle reporters Ed Reid and I. Kaufman, in their ongoing coverage of this graft case, reported that County Judge Samuel S. Leibowitz had ruled — just before Special Sessions Court was set to begin — that the names of the anyone, whether police or civilian, whom bookie Harry Gross had accused of graft, would be omitted from the public reading of the grand jury minutes. The judge ruled that revealing the names “would violate every elementary rule of civil liberties and due process,” and would be manifestly unfair and un-American and an ‘unconscionable’ invasion of such persons’ rights.”

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NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include actor WILFORD BRIMLEY, who was born in 1934; comedian and actress CARRIE BROWNSTEIN, who was born in 1974; television producer, singer and actor SHAUN CASSIDY, who was born in 1959; actor CLAUDE JARMAN JR., who was born in 1934; basketball executive and former player STEVE KERR, who was born in 1965; singer AVRIL LAVIGNE, who was born in 1984; rapper LIL WAYNE, who was born in 1982; singer and musician MEAT LOAF, who was born in 1947; circus clown BELLO NOCK, who was born in 1968; Hall of Fame baseball player MICHAEL JACK (MIKE) SCHMIDT, who was born in 1949; actress, writer and producer DELORES TAYLOR, who was born in 1939; and soccer player FRANCESCO TOTTI, who was born in 1976.

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SAMUEL ADAMS WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1722. A revolutionary leader and Massachusetts state politician, Samuel Adams was cousin to President John Adams. Samuel Adams was born in Boston, MA, and he died there on Oct. 2, 1803. As a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, Adams urged a vigorous stand against England. He signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation and supported the War for Independence. Adams served as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts under John Hancock from 1789 to 1793 and then as governor until 1797.

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LONDON POLICE RECEIVED JACK THE RIPPER’S LETTER ON THIS DAY IN 1888. In the midst of the “Autumn of Terror” in which London, England, was convulsed over the crimes of a brutal serial killer, the city’s Central News Agency received a letter in red ink purportedly written by the killer. He dubbed himself “Jack the Ripper” and threatened more killings. Police at the time believed (and most historians today believe) the letter to be a hoax by an irresponsible journalist, but the name took hold in the public imagination and is forever associated with the Whitechapel murders of 1888.

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DON CORNELIUS WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1936. Born in Chicago, IL, Cornelius was a pioneering and influential television producer and emcee. With his deep, resonant voice, creative drive and keen eye for talent, Cornelius created a hit musical variety show that brought black culture into American homes like no syndicated program before it. In 1970, Cornelius debuted “Soul Train” on WCIU-TV, a local Chicago television station. It went national a year later and gave imported exposure to now-legendary performers such as James Brown, Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye at a time when soul and R&B artists had few television outlets and scant access to white audiences. Cornelius died in Los Angeles on Feb. 1, 2012.

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GEORGE CRUIKSHANK WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1792. The English artist was especially known for caricatures and illustrating of Charles Dickens’ books. He was born in London, England, where he died on Feb. 1, 1878.

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

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“Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.” — Lillian Dickson

 


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