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MILESTONES: April 5 birthdays for Sterling K. Brown, Colin Powell, Pharrell Williams

April 5, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History

NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include actress Hayley Atwell, who was born in 1982; actor Sterling K. Brown, who was born in 1976; filmmaker Roger Corman, who was born in 1926; actor Max Gail, who was born in 1943; rapper Juicy J, who was born in 1975; actor Michael Moriarty, who was born in 1941; actor Mitch Pileggi, who was born in 1952; former U.S. Secretary of State, general and former U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell, who was born in 1937; and singer, producer and songwriter Pharrell Williams, who was born in 1973.

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GREGORY PECK WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1916. He was one of Hollywood’s most popular and likable leading men. Nominated five times for Best Actor, he finally won the Oscar for his role as Atticus Finch in 1962’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Other popular films included “Roman Holiday,” “Gentlemen’s Agreement” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Spellbound.” He also founded the La Jolla Playhouse with Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer in 1947 and appeared there throughout his career. He died in La Jolla in 2003.

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TODAY IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF HELEN KELLER’S “MIRACLE.” Anne Sullivan went to Alabama in March 1887 to teach the “unteachable” deaf and blind Helen Keller. Although Keller was resistant, Sullivan was determined, and after only one month she succeeded in reaching her: She placed Keller’s hand under a gushing water pump and used sign language to spell “w-a-t-e-r” into her palm. Helen grasped the meaning — spelling the word back into Sullivan’s palm — and excitedly learned 30 more words that day. Keller recalled later: “As the cool stream gushed over one hand . . . I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten, a thrill of returning thought, and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me.” She would go on to become the first deaf and blind person to graduate from college, write books and crusade for the disabled.

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“THE TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW” PREMIERED ON THIS DAY IN 1987. The Emmy Award–winning comedy-variety show was one of the FOX network’s early critical hits. Tracey Ullman starred with Julie Kavner, Dan Castellaneta, Joe Malone and Sam McMurray. The show, produced by James L. Brooks, contained sketches, songs and satire. Animated snippets in between segments introduced us to the Simpsons, executed by Matt Groening, creator of the “Life in Hell” comic strip. “The Simpsons” spun off from the show in 1990.

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BETTE DAVIS WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1908. The American actress appeared in more than 80 films, earned 10 Academy Award nominations and won the Academy Award twice, one for Best Actress in “Dangerous” and another for “Jezebel.” Davis claimed to have nicknamed the Academy Award “Oscar” after her first husband Harmon Oscar Nelson Jr. She died in 1989 in France.

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

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“The key to life is accepting challenges. Once someone stops doing this, he’s dead.” — actress Bette Davis, who was born on this day in 1908


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