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MILESTONES: June 4, birthdays for Russell Brand, Bar Refaeli, Mollie King

June 4, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Russell Brand. AP Photo/Tim Ireland
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Greetings, Brooklyn.  Today is the 154th day of the year.

 

On this day in 1950, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that a fire at the then-named Academy of Music broke out onstage moments before the Pratt Institute graduation ceremonies were set to begin there. The fire was blamed on an asbestos curtain. The fire merely delayed the commencement ceremony by about an hour and half for the largest class thus far in Pratt’s history. The 648 graduates and 2,000 family and friends then moved over to the nearby Pratt Institute grounds, only to spot another possible threat — low-hanging, heavy clouds. “We hadn’t expected to try you out with fire, and we hope we won’t have to try you with water,” Richardson Pratt, chairman of the institute’s board of trustees, told the crowd. The rain did hold off.

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On this day in 1919, the Eagle reported that Argentina, a city with more than 30 daily newspapers in various languages, had gone “newsless” for six days. They were in the midst of a dispute caused when union printers refused to set an ad for a department store that was being boycotted. Rather than capitulate to the printer, the largest newspapers stopped publishing altogether — even news bulletins. This in turn hurt smaller news outlets which relied on the presses of the larger publishers. As to the level of public outrage, the Eagle reported, “The lack of disorder in spite of the unusual situation is very noticeable. The fact that the public does not know what is going on elsewhere, such as the strikes in Paris and the bomb outrages in the United States, appears to have relieved the tension somewhat.”

 

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On this day in 1934, the Eagle reported that President Franklin D. Roosevelt called a war council to fight the worst drought in U.S history. The Eagle set in bold headlines that the House of Representatives passed a $1.17 billion relief bill. The vote was 309-45 and the bill was sent to the Senate. The vote came as famine was declared possible in at least one of the districts suffering the drought.

 

That same edition ran a story that members of the venerable Montauk Club, founded in 1889, were set to vote on whether to dissolve the club. But sentiment was far from unanimous. The board set the resolution to reserve, but Montauk Club President Frank C. Russell, anxious to avoid disbanding the club, planned to make suggestions. Membership had dropped from 1,000 to just 350, but some members asserted that there were no financial problems. About a week later, the Eagle reported that the Montauk Club had gotten a reprieve and would survive for now. The club, on Eighth Avenue in Park Slope, did indeed survive and marks its 130 anniversary in 2019.

 

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On this day in 1940, the Eagle featured British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s assertion that the “New World” will help win the conflict. Churchill declared before the House of Commons that Britain “will fight from the outskirts of empire, if need be alone.” He delivered a lengthy war statement in which he listed the number of dead, wounded or missing British at 30,000 and the Allied rescued at 335,000. Britain must carry on at all odds “until in God’s good time the New World in all its strength and might sets forth to the rescue and liberation of the Old.”

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On this day in 1948, the Eagle reported that President Harry S. Truman had nominated Tracy S. Voorhees, president of Long Island College Hospital, to be assistant secretary of the Army, under Secretary Kenneth Royall. Voorhees was the founder of the Brooklyn Red Cross’ blood bank during the war. An attorney by profession, a resident of Columbia Heights and descendant of one of Brooklyn’s oldest Dutch settler families, Voorhees had served during World War II as a colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Office during World War II. He had also received the Distinguished Service Medal and other honors post-war.

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NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include opera singer CECILIA BARTOLI, who was born in 1966; comedian and actor RUSSELL BRAND, who was born in 1975; actor JAMES CALLIS, who was born in 1971; actor KEITH DAVID, who was born in 1956; musician ELDRA DeBARGE, who was born in 1961; actor BRUCE DERN, who was born in 1936; former tennis player ANDREA JAEGER, who was born in 1965; Oscar Award-winning actress ANGELINA JOLIE, who was born in 1975; singer MOLLIE KING, who was born in 1987; U.S. Sen. MIKE LEE, who was born in 1971; Olympic figure skater EVAN LYSACEK, who was born in 1985; singer and actress MICHELLE PHILLIPS, who was born in 1945; model BAR REFAELI, who was born in 1985; actor PARKER STEVENSON, who was born in 1953; actor ROBIN LORD TAYLOR, who was born in 1978; TV and radio host DR. RUTH WESTHEIMER, who was born in 1929; actor SCOTT WOLF, who was born in 1968; and actor NOAH WYLE, who was born in 1971.

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TODAY IS NATIONAL CANCER SURVIVORS DAY. Hundreds of communities nationwide honor survivors who are living with and beyond cancer. It is held annually on the first Sunday in June.

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TODAY IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE TIANANMEN SQUARE MASSACRE. After almost a month and a half of student demonstrations for democracy, the Chinese government ordered its troops to open fire on the unarmed protestors at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on this day in 1989. Under the cover of darkness, early June 4, troops opened fire on the assembled crowds, and armored personnel carriers rolled into the square crushing many of the students as they lay sleeping in their tents. Although the government claimed that few died in the attack, estimates range from several hundred to several thousand casualties. In the following months thousands of demonstrators were rounded up and jailed.

 

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PULITZER PRIZES WERE FIRST AWARDED ON THIS DAY IN 1917. The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on this date: for biography, “Julia Ward Howe” by Laura E. Richards and Maude H. Elliott assisted by Florence H. Hall; and for history, “With Americans of Past and Present Days” by Jean Jules Jusserand, the French ambassador to the U.S. Prizes were also awarded for journalistic achievement.

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THE FIRST FREE FLIGHT BY A WOMAN OCCURRED ON THIS DAY IN 1784.

Marie Thible, of France, accompanied by a pilot (Monsieur Fleurant), became the first woman in history to fly in a free balloon. She drifted across Lyons in a balloon named Le Gustave (for King Gustav III of Sweden, who was watching the ascent). The balloon reached a height of 8,500 feet in a flight that lasted about 45 minutes. The event occurred one day short of a year after the first flight in history by a man.

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

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You can either give in to negative feelings or fight them, and I’m of the belief that you should fight them.” — Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who was born on this day in 1929


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