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MILESTONES: December 1, birthdays for Bette Midler, DeSean Jackson, Janelle Monáe

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December 1, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Bette Midler. Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Greetings, Brooklyn.  Today is the 337th day of the year.

On this day in 1954, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that, as a Senate vote to censure Sen. Joseph McCarthy for his anti-communist witch hunts, one of his Republican colleagues struck a compromise at the last moment. Communist Sen. Alexander Smith of New Jersey tossed this last-minute compromise that would also commend McCarthy for hunting down Communists. However, only 33 of the senators had pledged to vote with McCarthy, and that a full censure was inevitable. Sen. Prescott Bush (R-Connecticut, and father of former President George H.W. Bush and grandfather of former President George W. Bush) said that failure to censure Sen. McCarthy would be a “victory for the communist conspiracy.”

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On this day in 1948, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that the three Western Powers — the U.S., Great Britain and France — warned Russia that they would take any action needed to stay in Germany. Earlier that year, the Allies had successfully fended off a Soviet blockade of western Germany. The Soviets kept their reins on Eastern Germany, and the city of Berlin was, in effect, divided into more fractions. East Berlin was Soviet-controlled, and democratic West Berlin had American, British and French jurisdictions … Meanwhile, Chinese nationalists looked to U.S. General Douglas MacArthur for leadership to save Asia from Communist domination. And Madame Chiang-Kai-shek, wife of the Chinese nationalist leader, appealed personally to the U.S. (where she had been educated), to help prevent a communist takeover of China.

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On Dec. 2, 1862, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page carried the entire speech that President Abraham Lincoln had delivered to the nation the night before. Lincoln, speaking during the Civil War, gave an accounting of the treasury, announced the establishment of the Department of Agriculture, and called for a gradual emancipation so that newly freed blacks would not need to leave the South. He said, “People of any color seldom run unless there be something to run from. Heretofore, colored people have fled north to escape bondage and destitution, but if a gradual emancipation and deportation be adopted, they will have nothing to flee from.” Lincoln proposed that the old masters pay the freed slaves wages until the latter find new employment.

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On Dec. 2, 1918, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that President Woodrow Wilson told a joint session of Congress that he was making plans to attend a peace conference in France, saying that the Allied nations had accepted the peace principles he articulated and that it was vital that he attend. When he left Washington to lead the U.S. delegation, Wilson became the first U.S. president to visit Europe … Meanwhile in Yugoslavia, the country declared independence and the Montenegrin National Assembly deposed King Nicholas of Montenegro from power.

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NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include filmmaker WOODY ALLEN, who was born in 1935; model CAROL ALT, who was born in 1960; author and journalist CANDACE BUSHNELL, who was born in 1958; actor NESTOR CARBONELL, who was born in 1967; NFL star DeSEAN JACKSON, who was born in 1986; singer and actress BETTE MIDLER, who was born in 1945; singer JANELLE MONAE, who was born on this day in 1985; actress EMILY MORTIMER, who was born on this day in 1971; U.S. Sen. GARY PETERS, who was born on this day in 1958; former baseball player REGGIE SANDERS, who was born in 1967; golfer LEE BUCK TREVINO, who was born in 1939; former baseball player LARRY WALKER, who was born in 1966; and actor TREAT WILLIAMS, who was born in 1952.

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BASKETBALL WAS CREATED ON THIS DAY in 1891. James Naismith was a teacher of physical education at the International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts when he created the indoor sport that could be played during winter months. He nailed up peach baskets at opposite ends of the gym and gave students soccer balls to toss into them, thus giving birth to the game of basketball.

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TODAY IS WORLD AIDS DAY. In 1988, The World Health Organization of the U.N. declared this day as an international day of awareness and education about AIDS. For more information, visit un.org.

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ROSA PARKS WAS ARRESTED ON THIS DAY in 1955. She was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to give up her seat and move back to the municipal bus. Her arrest triggered a yearlong boycott of the city bus system and led to legal actions that ended racial segregation in municipal buses throughout the southern U.S. The event has been called the birth of the modern civil rights movement.

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TODAY IS ANTARCTICA DAY. The Antarctic Treaty, signed on this day in 1959 by 12 nations, continues to shine as a rare beacon of international cooperation. To celebrate this milestone of peace in our civilization with hope and inspiration for future generations, Antarctica Day was established in 2010 as a global initiative to share, interpret and cherish the values associated with Antarctica for the benefit of present and future generations.

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TODAY IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE KIROV ASSASSINATION AND THE GREAT PURGE. Sergei Mironovich Kirov, party boss and member of the Politburo, was shot dead at Communist Party headquarters in Leningrad by Leonid Nikolayev, a disgruntled junior party member. Some historians believe the 1934 assassination was ordered by Josef Stalin in order to eliminate the powerful and independent Kirov. Stalin publicly blamed the Kirov assassination on a larger anti-Stalinist conspiracy and used the assassination as a pretext to launch what became known as the Great Purge, in which Stalin eliminated virtually all of his political opponents. More than 700,000 people thought to be dangerous to the regime were executed, and hundreds of thousands more were sent to the gulags.

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

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“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” — Woody Allen, who was born in Brooklyn on this day in 1935

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