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MILESTONES, January 11: Birthdays for Mary J. Blige, Cody Simpson, Lil Twist

January 11, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Mary J. Blige. Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
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Greetings, Brooklyn.  Today is the 11th day of the year.

On this day in 1908, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that U.S. Treasury Secretary George B. Cortelyou would be speaking at the Hamilton Club in Brooklyn that night as its guest of honor. The banquet celebrated the 150th anniversary of Alexander Hamilton’s birth. Hamilton, a founding father, was the nation’s first secretary of the treasury and he established the American banking system. Cortelyou himself also held other cabinet posts during three consecutive Presidential administrations: those of Grover Cleveland, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. George B. Cortelyou, who was educated in Brooklyn, was a descendant of Jacques Cortelyou, surveyor general of New Amsterdam in the 17th century when the Dutch still held New York. Cortelyou Road in what is now Kensington and Ditmas Park was named for Jacques Cortelyou.

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On this day in 1927, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that Charlie Chaplin, the guileless, sweet, funny man of the silent movies, was nothing like that in real life. The Eagle reported that Chaplin’s assets were being frozen as part of a divorce suit in which his estranged wife Lita Grey Chaplin was charging him with cruelty and infidelity and of brandishing a gun in her presence. At the time, Charlie Chaplin was “16 times a millionaire, with an income of more than $500,000 yearly.”

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On this day in 1935, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported devoted most of the top of its front page to revelations made during the kidnapping and murder trial of Bruno Hauptmann. Handwriting expert Albert S. Osborne Sr. told the court that Hauptmann had signed all of the ransom notes that Lindbergh received. The ransom sum of $2,980 was deposited with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on the same day that the gold embargo took effect. The deposit slip, pictured in the story, had been discovered shortly after Hauptmann’s arrest.

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On this day in 1946, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported on the nationwide strike by Association of Communications Equipment workers, which had totally disrupted toll and long-distance service. (Local service was said to be unaffected, because operators were not needed to put through local calls.) The operators, though not themselves striking, refused to cross the picket lines. The government threatened to seize national telephone service unless the strike was called off. While the article did not state the reasons for the A.C.E.W strike, it did indicate that locals in all but four of the 48 states were striking, including the longtime New York Telephone building on Willoughby Street and a site on Herkimer Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Those four states were Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Montana.  

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Last week, this history section featured the story of Sister Mary Claire, who rescued the faculty and students of St. Malachy’s School in a fire. On Jan. 11, 1953, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that a Roman Catholic priest also risked his life in a fire to perform a ministry.  The Rev. Francis B. O’Donnell, a Roman Catholic curate from Queen of All Saints Church in Clinton Hill, climbed to the top of a blazing 3-story building in order to administer last rites to a man trapped at the top. Apparently, the victim was already dying and too weak to be carried. O’Donnell climbed the firemen’s ladder carrying a vial of holy oils between his teeth. The fire, which gutted the building, also injured three firemen.

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NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include singer MARY J. BLIGE, who was born in 1971; 20th Prime Minister of Canada JEAN CHRETIEN, who was born in 1934; golfer BEN CRENSHAW, who was born in 1952; columnist and author JIM HIGHTOWER, who was born in 1943; country singer NAOMI JUDD, who was born in 1946; actress CHRISTINE KAUFMANN, who was born in 1945; actress PHYLLIS LOGAN, who was born in 1956; actress AMANDA PEET, who was born in 1972; children’s rights advocate and Nobel Peace Prize recipient KAILASH SATYARTHI, who was born in 1954; singer CODY SIMPSON, who was born in 1997; and actor STANLEY TUCCI, who was born in 1960.

 

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ALEXANDER HAMILTON WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1755.  The American founding father, diplomat, soldier and co-author of “The Federalist Papers” was appointed by George Washington to serve as first secretary of the treasury in 1789. In that position, Hamilton established the basis for all future American fiscal policy. He was mortally wounded in a duel with Aaron Burr in 1804 in New Jersey.

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THE FIRST BLACK SOUTHERN LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR WAS SWORN IN ON THIS DAY in 1986. L. Douglas Wilder was sworn in as lieutenant governor of Virginia. He was the first black person elected to statewide office in the South since Reconstruction. He later served as governor of Virginia.

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WILLIAM JAMES WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1842. The American psychologist and philosopher of the pragmatist school is considered the father of American psychology. His key works include “The Principles of Psychology,” Essays in Radical Empiricism” and “The Will to Believe.” Born in New York City of the distinguished family that included his brother novelist Henry James, he died in New Hampshire in 1910.

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TODAY IS LEARN YOUR NAME IN MORSE CODE DAY. While some Morse code operators dispute whether Samuel Morse or Alfred Vail invented the code, it is known that on Jan 11, 1838, Morse and Vail performed the first public demonstration of the electric telegraph together. So, on 1-11 you are challenged to learn your name in Morse code — as well as SOS just in case you need to tap it out in an emergency.

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ALICE PAULWAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1885.  The women’s rights leader and founder of the National Woman’s Party in 1913 was an advocate of an equal rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution. She died in New Jersey in 1977.

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

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“There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.” — psychologist William James, who was born on this day in 1842


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