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MILESTONES: March 7, birthdays for Bryan Cranston, Laura Prepon, Jenna Fischer

Brooklyn Today

March 7, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Bryan Cranston. AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

Greetings, Brooklyn.  Today is the 66th day of the year.

On this day in 1938, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported on another attempted attack on the right to vote, particularly for impoverished folk. The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, in what immediately became controversial moves, proposed to “remove voting privileges from those on relief rolls.” Most citizens interviewed, ranging from businessmen and lawyers to clergy and housewives, condemned the proposal as “class legislation,” and expressed knowledge of the U.S. Constitution to have established voting as a right (and not a privilege). Many said that people on relief should not be deprived of voting simply because of their circumstances. The Eagle survey carried many quotes on this matter.

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On this day in 1857, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on the Dred Scott decision that denied a former slave his freedom. The Eagle called the Supreme Court decision “the most important incident of the day.” Scott sued, claiming he had resided on his master’s’ property in a state whose constitution prohibited slavery and later in a territory which was prohibited in the terms of the Missouri Compromise. The court declared that “men of the African race, whether slave or free, are not citizens of the United States” and, therefore, Scott was not eligible to litigate. Moreover, the Supreme Court held that the Missouri Compromise itself was void, because it exceeded the legislative powers of Congress. A bloody war would have to be fought before the Reconstruction Amendments, which include the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, would pass.

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On this day in 1928, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that science aided a romance. The new technological development of TV was being tested aboard the Berengaria, which was at sea. The television linked the image of Dora Selvey, a young lady who worked as a telephone operator for Western Union. Her image was transmitted from shore to sea, so that a radio operator aboard the Berengaria named Stanley Brown could see her from afar. They had become engaged. The television test was deemed successful, as Selvey’s image was clear, and the transmittal did not interfere with the ship’s radio operations.

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On this day in 1933, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that banks reopened following a holiday that newly inaugurated President Franklin D. Roosevelt had declared, for the purposes of re-organizing the nation’s financial system. Payroll, the movement of food and other essential needs were being met, and despite a brief interruption, deposits were being accepted. During the transition, Secretary of Treasury William H. Woodin authorized the use of scrips, or clearinghouse certificates, to be used as money. However, he warned against hoarding.

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On this day in 1950, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that Brooklynite Judith Coplon and her accomplice, Russian engineer Vladimir Gubitchev, were each found guilty of two counts of espionage in Manhattan Federal Court. Judge Sylvester Ryan shot down a series of motions by the defense attorneys. The sequestered jury, being allowed time to sleep, handed down the guilty verdict at 9:45 a.m. that day after five hours of deliberation. Coplon was sentenced to 25 years in prison and handed a $25,000 fine.

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On this day in 1938, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page ran the obituary of Judge Stephen W. McKeever, 83, who had died of bronchial pneumonia. McKeever was best known as one quarter-owner of the Brooklyn Baseball Club (the Dodgers), and was considered the team’s most colorful character. Together with co-owner Charles Ebbets, they built Ebbets Field, which was near Empire Boulevard and Washington Avenue. Interestingly, the obituary did not give information about his career on the bench, focusing instead on his time as a Dodgers club official.

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NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include Emmy Award-winning actor BRYAN CRANSTON, who was born in 1956; singer TAYLOR DAYNE, who was born in 1962; media executive MICHAEL EISNER, who was born in 1942; actress JENNA FISCHER, who was born in 1974; opera singer DENYCE GRAVES, who was born in 1964; former auto racer JANET GUTHRIE, who was born in 1938; Hall of Fame football player FRANCO HARRIS, who was born in 1957; author ROBERT HARRIS, who was born in 1957; actor JOHN HEARD, who was born in 1946; former baseball player JEFF KENT, who was born in 1968; Hall of Fame tennis player IVAN LENDL, who was born in 1960; actor TOBIAS MENZIES, who was born in 1974; actress LAURA PREPON, who was born in 1980; retired weatherman WILLARD HERMAN SCOTT JR., who was born in 1934; actor NICK SEARCY, who was born in 1959; actor DANIEL J. TRAVANTI, who was born in 1940; Oscar Award-winning actress RACHEL WIESZ, who was born in 1971; and singer PETER WOLF, who was born in 1946.

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LUTHER BURBANK WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1849. The American naturalist and author is remembered as the creator and developer of many varieties of flowers, fruits, vegetables and trees. Burbank died in California in 1926.

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TODAY IS PEACE CORPS DAY. The day commemorates the founding of the Peace Corps in March 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. It is observed on the first Tuesday in March.

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THE SUEZ CANAL OPENED ON THIS DAY IN 1869. Built by the French, the waterway connects the Mediterranean and Red seas. In 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Nasser nationalized the canal, prompting an invasion by the British, French and Israelis. The Six-Day War in 1967 shut down the canal for eight years.

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TODAY IS UNIQUE NAME DAY. It is a day to salute friends, acquaintances and loved ones who have unique names and to appreciate them for going through life without seeing their names on things such as ready-made key chains, etc.

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

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“Nothing is more important to a nation than its history. It is the earth upon which any society stands.” ― author Robert Harris, who was born on this day in 1957

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