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MILESTONES: October 23, birthdays for Pele, Nancy Grace, Caleb McLaughlin

Brooklyn Today

October 23, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Pele. AP Photo
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Greetings, Brooklyn. Today is the 298th day of the year.

On this day in 1938, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that President Franklin D. Roosevelt named the construction of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel as a lead project for the Public Works Administration, calling it a “vital traffic link.” PWA was a major-scale New Deal construction agency that focused on building essential infrastructure such as roads and urban centers. The Eagle reported that U.S. Sen. Robert Wagner met with the president at Hyde Park, who said that construction would begin soon.

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On this day in 1915, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page covered the Brooklyn delegation of the Women Suffragist parade that took place along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The Eagle published a picture of Helen McCaldin, whom the Suffragists selected to lead the Brooklyn division. She carried the “Brooklyn Arch” and got to march in front of the line, even ahead of Brooklyn Marshall Anna May Mason. It was reported that Brooklyn had a strong, organized turnout in various divisions and was enthusiastically received along the parade route, which stretched from Washington Square Park to 59th Street … Meanwhile in Brooklyn, the borough’s first tropical fruit tree, a banana tree, was thriving at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

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On this day in 1946, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported on the big welcome that diplomats from around the world received upon arriving in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly. The U.N. delegates, who were given a series of receptions at City Hall, were gathering on the eve of the first anniversary of the United Nations’ founding (established on Oct. 24, 1945). Oct. 24 is widely observed as U.N. Day … The Eagle also reported that workers from the New York Water Service Corporation were installing couplings into the city’s water mains so that residents of Flatbush could have safe drinking water. The water corporation was doing this in defiance of the city’s taking over the distribution system, and as Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Charles C. Lockwood was examining the vesting title.

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On this day in 1951, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported on the city’s bungled “welcome back” ceremony for Acting Mayor Vincent Impellitteri, who was returning from a goodwill trip to Italy and Israel. His ship, the Vulcania, arrived during a longshoremen’s wildcat strike and the city’s official greeter, Grover Whalen, missed the ship by seconds because of a traffic jam. The Eagle called the occasion a “comedy of errors.”

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NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include sportscaster and former football player DOUG FLUTIE, who was born in 1962; talk show host NANCY GRACE, who was born in 1958; Oscar Award-winning director ANG LEE, who was born in 1954; actor CALEB McLAUGHLIN, who was born in 2001; former soccer player TIFFENY MILBRETT, who was born in 1972; former soccer player PELE, who was born in 1940; former golfer JUAN “CHI-CHI” RODRIGUEZ, who was born in 1934; former basketball player KEITH VAN HORN, who was born in 1975; singer and satirist “WEIRD” AL YANKOVIC, who was born in 1959; and country singer and actor DWIGHT YOAKAM, who was born in 1956.

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THE IPOD WAS UNVEILED ON THIS DAY IN 2001. The Apple company unveiled its portable MP3 music player to the press on this date. The iPod officially went on sale on Nov. 10, 2001 for $399. Critics at the time complained about the cost, but the iPod became incredibly popular. In January 2010 Apple announced that it had sold 250 million iPods.

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JOHNNY CARSON WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1925. The TV talk show host worked for various radio and TV shows, including “Who Do You Trust?” He first appeared on “The Tonight Show” in 1958 and was named the permanent host in 1962 with the resignation of Jack Paar. He remained on the air for more than 30 years and, along with sidekick Ed McMahon and bandleader Doc Severinsen, basically invented the TV talk show format as we know it today. When he retired in 1992, he was regarded as a national institution. Carson died in California in 2005.

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HUNGARY DECLARED INDEPENDENCE ON THIS DAY IN 1989. The country declared itself an independent republic, 33 years after Russian troops crushed a popular revolt against Soviet rule. The announcement followed a weeklong purge by parliament of the Stalinist elements from Hungary’s 1949 constitution, which defined the country as a socialist people’s republic. Acting head of state Matyas Szuros made the declaration in front of tens of thousands of Hungarians at Parliament Square, speaking from the same balcony from which Imre Nagy addressed rebels 33 years earlier. Nagy was hanged for treason after Soviet intervention. Free elections held in March 1990 removed the Communist Party to the ranks of the opposition for the first time in four decades.

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

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“I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.” — Johnny Carson


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