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MILESTONES: January 3, birthdays for Eli Manning, Erick Brian Colon, Angela Yee

Brooklyn Today

January 3, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Eli Manning. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Greetings, Brooklyn.  Today is the third day of the year.

On this day in 1951, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page featured investigative reporter Ed Reid’s story on the 22 men from the Harry Gross bookie mob who pleaded guilty. Reid would continue covering the Harry Gross story as it unfolded. His stories earned the Eagle its first Pulitzer Prize in May 1951. Meanwhile, the Harry Gross saga grew stranger by the day.

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On this day in 1938, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned a joint session of Congress that “misuse of the powers of capital” must be ended “or the capitalistic system will destroy itself through its own abuses.” Roosevelt urged both capital (business) and labor to work together for the welfare of the nation. He said that “power and responsibility go hand in hand.” Congress, viewing FDR’s speech as a conciliatory message, gave him a standing ovation.

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On this day in 1939, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that Congress was trying to impeach Frances Perkins, the first woman ever to be appointed to the president’s cabinet. GOP Rep. J. Parnell Thomas of New Jersey, leading the charge, announced a resolution to impeach Secretary of Labor Perkins, an FDR appointee, because she failed to enforce laws on deportation of aliens — specifically, that she refused to deport Harry Bridges, a CIO and International Longshoremen’s Association leader and suspected communist. Thomas and the House Committee Investigating Un-American Activities, charged that communists had invaded the federal government. Of course, many viewed this as GOP’s ongoing challenge to the New Deal. As Secretary of Labor, Perkins played a key role in the cabinet by writing New Deal legislation, including minimum-wage laws, and the Social Security Act of 1935. The impeachment effort failed: Perkins held her ground and prevailed, first by refusing to deport the Australian-born Bridges without due process, and then having the Supreme Court vindicate her. Perkins resigned upon FDR’s death in 1945. She wrote a best-seller based on her service with FDR, and then taught labor relations at Cornell University.

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On this day in 1949, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that the newly sworn-in 81st Congress was already doing battle on two fronts. The House of Representatives was fighting the Democrats’ proposal to curtail the power of the House Rules Committee. The Senate had an internal flight between Sen. Robert Alphonse Taft Sr. and his bloc of ultra-conservative Republicans and Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. and more moderate Republican allies. The battle was over the test vote for chief of Policy Committee. Taft was from a powerful Ohio political family that included his father, President and later Chief Justice William Howard Taft; his son, Sen. Robert A. Taft Jr.; and his grandson, former Ohio governor Robert A. Taft III. But Henry Cabot Lodge II also came from a powerful political family in Massachusetts as his father had also been a senator.

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NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include poet and illustrator JOAN WALSH ANGLUND, who was born in 1926; actress NICOLE BEHARIE, who was born in 1985; actor DABNEY COLEMAN, who was born in 1932; pop singer ERICK BRIAN COLON, who was born in 2001; actor and filmmaker MEL GIBSON, who was born in 1956; Hall of Fame hockey player BOBBY HULL, who was born in 1939; football player ELI MANNING, who was born in 1981; actress DANICA McKELLAR, who was born in 1975; actress VICTORIA PRINCIPAL, who was born in 1950; NYC radio host ANGELA YEE, who was born in 1976; and musician STEPHEN STILLS, who was born in 1945.

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J.R.R. TOLKIEN WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1892.  The author, professor, medieval scholar and philologist is best known for his sagas of Middle Earth: “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” which introduced the world to hobbits, elves, orcs and more. These novels are some of the most influential fantasies of the 20th century. Tolkien’s works have been translated into more than 60 languages and remain best-sellers. Made a commander of the British Empire in 1972, he died in England in 1973.

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LUCRETIA MOTT WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1793. The American teacher, minister and antislavery leader was one of the founders of the women’s rights movement in the U.S. She died in Pennsylvania in 1880.

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MARION DAVIES WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1897. The Brooklyn-born actress made her first appearance on film in 1917. Her romantic and professional involvement with newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst ensured the type of publicity that would launch her to stardom. Her films include “When Knighthood Was in Flower,” “The Patsy” and “Show People.” Davies died in 1961 in California.

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“THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW” PREMIERED ON THIS DAY IN 1989. Arsenio Hall became the first African American to host a successful syndicated late-night talk show. The show attracted a younger audience than that of Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show” and effectively limited the impact of CBS’s 1989 late-night entry, “The Pat Sajak Show.” Hall was successful in booking soul and rap music acts that had rarely been seen on other shows. His was also the show on which presidential candidate Bill Clinton appeared, playing the saxophone in dark glasses. Hall was named by “TV Guide” in June 1990 as its first TV Person of the Year.

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THE DRINKING STRAW WAS PATENTED ON THIS DAY IN 1888. Marvin Stone’s drinking straw made out of paraffin-covered paper replaced natural rye straws.

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

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“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” — writer J. R. R. Tolkien, who was born on this day in 1892

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