Good Morning Brooklyn: April 14
Good Morning, Brooklyn, Wednesday, April 14.
April 14, 1775, the founding date of the first American Abolition Society. So what took the rest of us so long to figure things out? It was in Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love, and the name was quite long: The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held In Bondage. Still functioning as the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, it was honored to have Benjamin Franklin as president sometime after 1785. The Society asked Franklin to bring the matter of slavery to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Franklin petitioned the US Congress in 1790 to ban slavery. Again, what took the rest of us so long …
APRIL 14, 2000 IS BELIEVED to be the birthdate of Eddie the Eagle, our beloved, benevolent, non-predatorial mascot. Click here to see his recent tour of Greenpoint with Congresswoman Carol Maloney.
LOOK IT UP — The first dictionary of American English was published on this day in 1828. Noah Webster called his first edition the AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
WHAT WAS THE NAME of the play Abraham Lincoln was watching on this day in 1865, when he was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC.? It was OUR AMERICAN COUSIN, a farce written by Englishman Tom Taylor. The main character was an awkward, boorish American who is reviled by his aristocratic British cousins when he travels there to claim an estate. Actor John Wilkes Booth, who shot Lincoln, was not acting in the play, but he leaped onto the stage after shooting the President and shouted “Sic Semper Tyrannis (Ever thus to tyrants)…the South is avenged.” Brooklyn played a role in Lincoln’s life before he was elected President, as he admired Henry Ward Beecher and attended Plymouth Church, an event marked by a plaque on the pew he occupied.
BIRTHDAY OF A MIRACLE WORKER — Anne Sullivan was born on this day in 1866. Sullivan became the teacher, then governess then companion to HELEN KELLER. Despite being blind and deaf from age of 19 months, Keller became one of the 20thcentury’s leading humanitarians and co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). As Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan created the breakthrough in communication that led to the inspiring 1962 movie, THE MIRACLE WORKER starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. BROOKLYN INDUSTRIAL HOME FOR THE BLIND, founded in 1893, changed its name in 1985 to Helen Keller Services, after many years of working closely with organizations bearing Helen Keller’s name.
WE HAVE ALL SEEN the first pitch tossed from the mound by a non-athlete in ceremonial season openers. Today, April 14, it happened for the first time in 1910 when President William Howard Taft tossed the first pitch in an American League game between Washington and Philadelphia. (Washington won 3-0).
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