Brooklyn Boro

March 31: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

March 31, 2022 Brooklyn Today
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ON THIS DAY IN 1918, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “In the presence of an assemblage thoroughly representative of the borough, with a great searchlight from the Eagle tower illuminating the scene, and with a reverent ceremony that betokened full appreciation of what the celebration meant, the hands of the clock on Borough Hall were advanced from 2 to 3 o’clock at 2 a.m. today and Brooklyn was formally a part of the great national plan to add one hour of daylight to the country’s effort to win the war. United States Senator William M. Calder, especially invited by Borough President [Lewis] Pounds because of his sponsorship of the daylight saving bill in the Senate, had the honor of moving the clock forward. … As Senator Calder stepped forward to a master dial that had been arranged at the top of the steps, the Eagle searchlight was turned upon him. The senator, at just 2 o’clock, moved the hands to 3 o’clock. The searchlight swung up to the tower clock, and its hour hand advanced slowly to 3 o’clock. The bell tolled three times. Immediately afterward the British flag was raised on a pole at one side while the searchlight played on it; the French flag, similarly illuminated, was raised on the other side; and then the searchlight turned to the pole at the top of the tower, lighting up the folds of the red, white and blue as the flag was hoisted to the top.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1947, Eagle sports columnist Tommy Holmes wrote, “It seems reasonable that I should know something about the Dodgers. I don’t know much about them even after three weeks of living with them. I know that Muggsy Stanky can play second base, that Pee Wee Reese is a shortstop, to put it mildly, that the ballclub should be reasonably strong down the middle. …The most common question I’ve been asked is how good is Jackie Robinson. There’s only one answer to that which is that he is a terrific natural ballplayer. His mistakes at first base are the mistakes of any individual inexperienced at playing that position before. On talent alone, Robinson is good enough and plenty good enough to be with the Dodgers. But whether he’ll stick is another question. I’ve given up trying to read Branch Rickey’s mind.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — Top Western power envoys confer on world problems here today to the accompaniment of rumblings from behind the Iron Curtain which may presage a new Soviet cold war offensive. Secretary of State Dean Acheson scheduled talks with British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin and Netherlands Foreign Minister D.U. Stikker. Tomorrow he will see the foreign ministers of France, Belgium and Luxembourg. It was believed these talks would lay the groundwork for more intensive exchanges after the signing of the North Atlantic treaty here Monday. Mr. Acheson said he was ready for full discussion of all problems relating to world peace with envoys coming here for the pact-signing ceremony. U.S. officials indicated the talks also might deal with plans for meeting an expected Soviet counteroffensive. The State Department is scrutinizing recent Soviet moves in an effort to determine how far Russia is likely to go to offset the diplomatic defeat which the welding of the pact brought Moscow.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “TOKYO (U.P.) — Gen. Mark W. Clark today agreed to resume Korean truce talks as soon as arrangements have been completed for the exchange of sick and wounded war prisoners. But the Allied commander-in-chief made it plain to the Communists that the basis for any resumed armistice negotiations will be the exchange of all Korean war prisoners on a voluntary basis — as Chinese Red Premier Chou En-lai suggested in a statement broadcast from Peiping. Clark sent a note to Kim Il Sung, North Korean premier and commander-in-chief, and Gen. Peng Teh-huai, commanding Chinese Red troops in Korea, accepting their offer to exchange sick and wounded men. As soon as this prisoner exchange agreement is reached, Clark said he then will be prepared, as the Reds suggested, to resume truce talks ‘as a second order of business.’ ‘We take it as implicit in your suggestion (for resumed armistice talks) that you would be prepared to accept United Nations command proposals or make some comparable constructive proposal of your own which would constitute a valid basis for resumption of meetings,’ Clark said.”

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Rhea Perlman
Ryan Miller/Invision/AP
Christopher Walken
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Boy Meets World” star William Daniels, who was born in Brooklyn in 1927; Oscar-winning actress Shirley Jones, who was born in 1934; musician Herb Alpert, who was born in 1935; Oscar-winning actor Christopher Walken, who was born in 1943; “Welcome Back, Kotter” star Gabe Kaplan, who was born in Brooklyn in 1945; former Vice President Al Gore, who was born in 1948; “Cheers” star Rhea Perlman, who was born in Brooklyn in 1948; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Angus Young (AC/DC), who was born in 1955; TV writer and producer Howard Gordon, who was born in 1961; “Star Wars” star Ewan McGregor, who was born in 1971; and actress and musician Kate Micucci, who was born in 1980.

Ewan McGregor
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

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CLEAN UP YOUR ACT: The Motion Picture Production Code was instituted on this day in 1930. Also known as the Hays Code, after Will H. Hays, the president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, it set rigid guidelines for what was acceptable content for American viewing audiences. The code remained in effect for decades but its influence declined in the 1960s. In 1968, it was replaced by the MPAA film rating system.

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LBJ (LEAVING BY JANUARY): President Lyndon Johnson shocked the nation on this day in 1968. In a televised speech about the war in Vietnam, he said, “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.” On April 27, Vice President Hubert Humphrey announced his candidacy. At the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention, Humphrey won the nomination on the first ballot. He lost the general election to former Vice President Richard Nixon.

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

 

Quotable:

“I don’t need to be made to look evil. I can do that on my own.”

— actor Christopher Walken, who was born on this day in 1943


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