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February 20, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Rihanna. Foto Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, file
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Greetings, Brooklyn.  Today is the 51st day of the year.

On this day in 1909, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that King Alfonso, who was very interested in aviation, had granted an interview with the Wright Brothers during which he expressed great interest in seeing them demonstrate their aircraft. The Eagle observed that the Spanish monarch was particularly interested in the airplane as an engine of war. However, he demurred when invited on the flight, saying he had promised his wife Queen Victoria and Premier Maura “that he would not go up in the air under any circumstances.”

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DAILY TOP BROOKLYN NEWS
News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

On this day in 1933, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that the U.S. House of Representatives had voted to repeal Prohibition — the 18th Amendment — which criminalized the sale, manufacture, import or use of liquor. Congress voted to send the repeal proposal to state conventions for ratification. U.S. Rep. Fiorello LaGuardia (R-NYC) introduced a bill that would provide for the calling of ratifying conventions to be done under federal auspices. (LaGuardia, of course, would go on to be elected as mayor of New York City.)

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On this day in 1939, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses’ prediction that the Brooklyn-Battery Bridge, when completed, would become the final link in the Belt Parkway system that encircled Brooklyn and Queens. Moses predicted also that the completion of this section of the highway system would also force the need for a span or tunnel to be built across the Narrows part of New York Harbor, between Brooklyn and Staten Island. As history played out, the Battery span got a tunnel and the Narrows got a bridge, which opened in 1964 and was named for 15th-century Italian explorer Giovanni di Verrazzano (but somehow missing one of the z’s in his surname).

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On this day in 1942, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported from UP dispatches that the Japanese forces had invaded and engulfed the islands of Sumatra and Bali, which are now part of the Indonesian archipelago. Java, nestled between Sumatra and Bali, and which housed an American military base, braced itself for a decisive battle. Although the Eagle’s war coverage that day mentioned that Allied forces had taken eight Tokyo warships and transports, it did not mention the heroic actions of Lt. Commander Edward (Butch) O’Hare, who on Feb. 20 became the U.S. Navy’s first flying ace. Having barely enough ammunition, O’Hare single-handedly attacked a formation of nine heavy bombers approaching his aircraft carrier, the Lexington, which was also in the Pacific theater at that time. Two months later, O’Hare became the first naval officer to receive the Medal of Honor in World War II. Chicago’s O’Hare Airport was later named for him.

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On this day in 1954, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle made the news itself, but placed the story on page 3. The Eagle was presented with the East New York Community Activities organization’s 1954 Community Service Award. Managing Editor Thomas Schroth accepted the award on behalf of his father, publisher Frank D. Schroth. Among the participants were Justice Daniel Gutman of the Municipal Court and Abe Stark, who was then City Council president and later became Brooklyn borough president.

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NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include sportscaster CHARLES BARKLEY, who was born in 1963; actress BRENDA BLETHYN, who was born in 1946; former Prime Minister of Britain GORDON BROWN, who was born in 1951; model and actress CINDY CRAWFORD, who was born in 1966; actress SANDY DUNCAN, who was born in 1946; actor RON ELDARD, who was born in 1963; hockey executive PHIL ESPOSITO, who was born in 1942; basketball player STEPHON MARBURY, who was born in 1977; U.S. Sen. MITCH McCONNELL, who was born in 1942; actress JENNIFER O’NEILL, who was born in 1948; Oscar Award-winning actor SIDNEY POITIER, who was born in 1927; singer RIHANNA, who was born in 1988; folksinger BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE, who was born in 1941; newspaper heiress, kidnap victim and actress PATTY HEARST SHAW, who was born in 1954; actor FRENCH STEWART, who was born in 1964; actor PETER STRAUSS, who was born in 1947; actress LILI TAYLOR, who was born in 1967; auto racer BOBBY UNSER, who was born in 1934; fashion designer and artist GLORIA VANDERBILT, who was born in 1924; baseball player JUSTIN VERLANDER, who was born in 1983; and singer NANCY WILSON, who was born in 1937.

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FREDERICK DOUGLASS DIED ON THIS DAY IN 1895. Douglass was an American journalist, orator and antislavery leader. His original name before his escapes from slavery was Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey.

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TODAY IS THE ANNIVERARY OF THE CLOSEST APPROACH OF A COMET TO EARTH. An unnamed comet came within 860,000 miles of Earth on this date in 1491. By comparison, the closest approach that Halley’s Comet made to Earth was in April 837 A.D. at 3 million miles.

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TODAY IS WORLD DAY FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE. Observance of this day should support efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.

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ROBERT ALTMAN WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1925. The iconoclastic filmmaker was a master of satire, ensemble casts and the long take. His long and lauded career included such classic films as “M*A*S*H,” “McCabe and Mrs. Miller,” “Nashville,” “The Player” and “Gosford Park.” Altman received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 2006. Born in Missouri, Altman died in 2006 in Los Angeles.

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MEDGAR EVERS COLLEGE (MEC) WILL HOST “GUNS: A 360 Degree Perspective” Town Hall tonight at 6:30 p.m.  In light of Wednesday’s school shooting tragedy in Florida, MEC’s award-winning Center for Law and Social Justice will host a public conversation with Queens anti-violence crusader Erica Ford for Black History Month about the role of guns in black history and explores new paradigms for peace. For more information, email [email protected] or call 718-270-5046.

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

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“We are not put on this earth to see through one another. We are put on this earth to see one another through.” ― Gloria Vanderbilt, who was born on this day in 1924


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