Brooklyn Boro

April 23: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

April 23, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff

ON THIS DAY IN 1861, a Brooklyn Daily Eagle editorial said, “War is upon us. We have already felt some of its evils, and daily they will grow upon us. The ordinary business of life is in part suspended — the mechanic has deserted the shop; the husbandman has been called away from the plough just as the earth demanded the labor she so generously rewards. Suspense and anxiety is in every household. There is nothing new to be gained by delay; on the contrary it will bring with it the most dreaded evils. A protracted civil war is of all things to be deplored here.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1922, the Eagle reported, “Aaron Copland, of this boro, now studying at the American Conservatory of Music in Paris, where his success as a composer was noted last winter by the Eagle correspondent, has recently written some songs and pieces for the piano that have attracted favorable attention and been included in concert programs of importance.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “’The Supreme Court’ will be discussed on the WOR Forum Hour Sunday from 5:30 to 6 p.m. This is the first time that the program, under the direction of S. Theodore Granik, assistant district attorney of New York County, will be heard at this hour. Speakers are Brian McMahon, Assistant Attorney General of the United States and head of the criminal division of the Attorney General’s office, and Paul Windels, Corporation Counsel of the City of New York. McMahon will speak in favor of President Roosevelt’s reorganization plan, based upon the hearings before the Senate Committee, and Windels will speak under the auspices of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York in opposition to the President’s proposal.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “SHANGHAI (U.P.) — A Communist fifth column seized control of Nationalist-abandoned Nanking today and set the stage for a triumphant Communist military march into China’s capital at 7 a.m. tomorrow (6 p.m. Brooklyn time today). Nationalist resistance on the approaches to Shanghai, China’s largest city, collapsed as Communist columns continued their lightning drive to the South with government garrisons fleeing headlong from their path. All cities north of Shanghai were reported abandoned by the Nationalists. The Communist radio said 1,000,000 troops had been thrown across the Yangtse on an 850-mile front. Nanking was in a state of anarchy, abandoned by Nationalist forces and still waiting for the Communists to enter. Water and electric services were stopped and waves of looters still swarmed through the streets after a full day of pillage. Telephoned reports from Nanking said wild mobs began looting the city’s business district at dawn after Nationalist troops and police fled. The mobs did not attack the foreign sections or residential areas.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “COLLEGE PARK, MD. (UPI) — Whilden F. Breen Jr., who just emerged from five months alone on a simulated spaceship journey, said yesterday it would be possible for men to remain as long as five years on real trips beyond the moon. Breen, a 36-year-old native of Birmingham, Ala., emerged Wednesday from a 12-by-12-foot steel chamber at the University of Maryland. He had entered it exactly five months earlier, on Nov. 17, to take part in the longest known scientific study ever made of a human being in solitary confinement. Breen told newsmen in his first press conference yesterday that he terminated the experiment because of ‘stress.’ He said he probably could have gone on indefinitely but that he felt there was no more that could be gained from the experiment … Breen said he grew ‘irritable’ toward the end of his five months’ isolation but said he used an idea made popular by Russian cosmonauts. ‘I danced and sang to myself,’ he said. ‘I found it very relaxing and it helped.’”

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Gigi Hadid
Alastair Grant/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “The Six Million Dollar Man” star Lee Majors, who was born in 1939; Hockey Hall of Famer Tony Esposito, who was born in 1943; “Fringe” star Blair Brown, who was born in 1946;

Valerie Bertinelli
Katy Winn/Invision/AP

“One Day at a Time” star Valerie Bertinelli, who was born in 1960; windsurfing legend Robby Naish, who was born in 1963; “Providence” star Melina Kanakaredes, who was born in 1967; “House” star Kal Penn, who was born in 1977; “Hart of Dixie” star Jaime King, who was born in 1979; “Slumdog Millionaire” star Dev Patel, who was born in 1990; “American Idol” winner Caleb Johnson, was born in 1991; and supermodel Gigi Hadid, who was born in 1995.

Dev Patel
Joel C. Ryan/Invision/AP

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THE WHEEL IS COME FULL CIRCLE: William Shakespeare was born on this day in 1564… and died on this day in 1616. In between, he wrote some of the world’s greatest literature, including “Hamlet,” “Henry V,” “Othello,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Tempest.” He contributed thousands of words to the English language and expanded the dramatic possibilities of blank verse, making it mimic the rhythm of speech even as he elevated speech to poetry.

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ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE: The first movie theater opened on this day in 1896 when a screen was installed in Koster and Bial’s Music Hall in Manhattan. Up until this time, people saw films individually by looking into a kinescope, a boxlike “peep show.”

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

Quotable:

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.”
— actress Shirley Temple, who was born on this day in 1928


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