Brooklyn Boro

July 15: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

July 15, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1906, Brooklyn Daily Eagle columnist Frederick Boyd Stevenson wrote, “If one were to ask the alienist, ‘What is insanity?’ the answer would be vague and unsatisfactory. There are theories enough, but there is no well-defined analysis of insanity as a disease. There is no insane germ; no insane bacteria on which to base a diagnosis. The lines between the minds of the sane and the insane are so closely drawn that the experts have difficulty in separating them. One celebrated alienist, Dr. George H. Savage, has gone so far as to say: ‘Sanity and insanity, as recognized by the doctor, and, in fact, by the general public, must be but terms of convenience. No person is perfectly sane in all his mental faculties, any more than he is perfectly healthy in body.’ If the expert, then, cannot answer your question, who is to say who is insane and who not insane? If the nature of insanity be not known, if its essence be undiscovered, who is to lay down the laws governing its phenomena, and who is to present the true condition of its intellectual faculties, the emotions that govern it, its passions and its instincts? When doctors disagree as to the reason and the origin of the ‘mind’s own revolt against itself,’ who is to decide?”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1918, the Eagle reported, “He’s here! He’s here!! He’s here!!! The season’s first shark has arrived and all Brooklynites who risked themselves in the brine yesterday can thank a dead whale off the coast for keeping the shark’s attention away from them! While Mr. Shark and a whole lot of his friends were holding a salt water barbecue with various parts of the whale serving as soup, fish, roast and ice cream yesterday, the fishing yacht Velocity interrupted the proceedings. Captain W.W. Stephens, owner of the yacht, and his friends dropped their lines for sea bass, without any intention of disturbing the shark party; but their good intentions went for naught. One big shark began snapping up the sea bass as fast as the fishermen on the Velocity hooked them. Instead of getting sea bass, they were pulling in only sea bass heads. … Captain Stephens divined there was a shark in the neighborhood and prepared to get it. He dug his shark hook out from under the spare oil can, baited it with a nice sea bass caught before the shark arrived, and tossed it overboard. In a minute the line gave a vicious jerk and for the next hour the captain was as busy as a black ant at a picnic dinner. Finally he drew the big beast half out of the water and the bosun planted the edge of the ship’s axe as near the shark’s brain as he could. Another big hook was dropped into his mouth before his 450 pounds could be hauled in, and even when on board he lashed about in a way that made being on the Velocity seem like being locked up in a folding bed with a bucking horse.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1941, the Eagle reported, “BERLIN (U.P.) — Usually reliable unofficial German sources claimed tonight that German troops have reached Kiev but said they had not yet ‘captured the whole city.’ The report that Nazi forces have slashed their way forward to the capital of the Ukraine followed the assertion of the Nazi high command Saturday night that German forces ‘stand before Kiev.’ At the same time, official German reports claimed that storm troops have captured the last of the Stalin line defenses in the Vitebsk area some 300 miles from Moscow, and asserted that the Nazi thrust toward Leningrad is making steady headway. A few hours before the report that Nazi troops had reached Kiev, the official D.N.B. news agency reported a terrific Soviet counterattack had been launched in that area by huge Russian tanks. The D.N.B. account claimed the Soviet tanks were beaten off with heavy losses. The unofficial sources claimed that Nazi forces are fighting their way into Kiev and presumably are cleaning it up street by street without using their heavy weapons, so far as is possible, in order to prevent the destruction of important industrial plants.”

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Lana Parrilla
John Salangsang/Invision/AP
Forest Whitaker
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Linda Ronstadt, who was born in 1946; Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo, who was born in 1949; Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington, who was born in 1950; former wrestler and Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who was born in 1951; “Lost” star Terry O’Quinn, who was born in 1952; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Marky Ramone (The Ramones), who was born in Brooklyn in 1952; “I Love the Nightlife” singer Alicia Bridges, who was born in 1953; guitar legend Joe Satriani, who was born in 1956; model and actress Kim Alexis, who was born in 1960; Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker, who was born in 1961; “Malcolm & Eddie” star Eddie Griffin, who was born in 1968; “Beverly Hills 90210” star Brian Austin Green, who was born in 1973; and “Once Upon a Time” star Lana Parrilla, who was born in Brooklyn in 1977.

Brian Austin Green
Christopher Smith/Invision/AP

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EXPRESS DELIVERY: Nolan Ryan pitched his second no-hitter of the season on this day in 1973. The California Angels righthander no-hit the Detroit Tigers two months to the day after he blanked the Kansas City Royals. Nicknamed “The Ryan Express,” he pitched seven no-hitters in his 27-year career, the seventh in 1991 at age 44. He retired after the 1993 season and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999.

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BUILDING SUSPENSE: “Die Hard” premiered on this day in 1988. The action film stars Bruce Willis as NYPD Det. John McClane, who must stop the terrorist takeover of a Los Angeles office building and rescue a group of hostages that includes his estranged wife. Co-stars include Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia and Reginald Veljohnson. The film was a big hit, launching Willis’ movie career and leading to four sequels.

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

 

Quotable:

“A painting is finished when the artist says it is finished.”

— Dutch painter Rembrandt, who was born on this day in 1606


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