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February 23: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

February 23, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1902, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Brooklyn Bridge is receiving more thorough systematic inspection under the ministration of Bridge Commissioner Lindenthal than it ever had before. The new commissioner, having a keen appreciation of the importance of knowing the exact condition of the bridge from day to day, has put in operation an elaborate system of daily tests. For years the bridge has been tested, it is true, but tested at random, at odd times. It was assumed that there was not much need. An eye must be kept upon it, that was all. That, under these circumstances, an eye might happen to be half an eye did not seem to be thought of until less than a year ago, when a suspender broke and was not replaced. The eye that was supposed to notice just such things passed this over carelessly. Within the past fortnight an elaborate programme has been laid out. Monthly reports of every detail of condition of every part are to go to Chief Engineer Buck. Within the year every inch of the structure, important or unimportant, will be gone over.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1902, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON, FEB. 22 — Senator [Benjamin] ‘Pitchfork’ Tillman today surpassed all his ruffianly tactics of the past by making an assault in the Senate chamber, before crowded galleries, upon his colleague from South Carolina, Senator [John] McLaurin. For the past two years there has been bad blood between these two men and at various times they have been on the verge of blows. Under the stinging charge of uttering a ‘willful, deliberate and malicious lie,’ Tillman today lost all control of himself and, disregarding the rules of senatorial decorum and etiquette, sprang upon his personal and political enemy and struck him full in the face with his fist. McLaurin did not flinch from the onslaught of his infuriated colleague but clinched with him while standing in the aisle in full view of the paralyzed senators and spectators. The two men swayed in each other’s embrace, striking out wildly with clenched fists. In the meantime the sergeant-at-arms of the Senate rushed to the scene of conflict and pulled the combatants apart amid intense excitement and confusion.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “POTTSVILLE, PA. (U.P.) — A shovel operator scooped up several tons of unusual debris — Treasury balance lottery tickets. The tickets were of every hue in the rainbow and were labeled Jackpot, Master, O.K., Star Antler, Lucky, LD Play, Keystone, State and Supreme. The tickets were for months beginning last February through 1948. The shovel, owned by the Kelly Construction Company, Girardville, was operating on Peach Mountain, near Pottsville.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1950, the Eagle reported, “SANTIAGO, CHILE (U.P.) — A Chilean naval officer said today that a group of Antarctic explorers under his command obtained photographs of flying saucers at the Chilean Antarctic base of Arthur Prat. Commander Augusto Vars Orrego, head of the base, said on several occasions during the bright Antarctic night he and his men saw flying saucers one above the other turning at tremendous speeds. ‘Don’t think that this was an optical illusion,’ he said. ‘We have corroboration of what we saw from photographs taken of the phenomena.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1951, the Eagle reported, “TAIPEI, FORMOSA (U.P.) — Three to six planes believed from Red China approached Formosa from the northwest today and sent Taipei residents scurrying to air raid shelters and the open country in panic. However, air defense headquarters reported the planes turned away while still 100 miles from this American-protected Chinese Nationalist island and Nationalist fighters were unable to intercept them. Hong Kong reports said Chinese Nationalist planes have resumed reconnaissance flights over Red-held Hainan Island, where Soviet engineers were reported building a naval base, and the Communist mainland coast.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1962, the Brooklyn Record reported, “Rudolf Nureyev, whose name hit international headlines last June when he quit Leningrad’s Kirov Ballet in a Paris airport and defected to the West, will make his U.S. stage debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on March 10 at 8:30 p.m. He will be guest artist for this single performance with the Ruth Page-Chicago Opera Ballet opposite the company’s prima ballerina, Sonia Arova, in the ‘Don Quixote’ pas de deux, an acknowledged favorite of balletomanes.”

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Aziz Ansari
Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP
D’Angelo Russell
Craig Lassig/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Pro Football Hall of Famer Jackie Smith, who was born in 1940; former N.Y. Mets second baseman Ron Hunt, who was born in 1941; former NFL defensive end Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who was born in 1951; “Home Improvement” star Patricia Richardson, who was born in 1951; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Brad Whitford (Aerosmith), who was born in 1952; “No One is to Blame” singer Howard Jones, who was born in 1955; Queensryche co-founder Michael Wilton, who was born in 1962; former N.Y. Mets outfielder Bobby Bonilla, who was born in 1963; political commentator S.E. Cupp, who was born in 1979; “Master of None” star Aziz Ansari, who was born in 1983; “A Quiet Place” star Emily Blunt, who was born in 1983; “The Alienist” star Dakota Fanning, who was born in 1994; and former Brooklyn Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell, who was born in 1996.

Emily Blunt
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

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BANNER DAY: U.S. Marines raised the American flag on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima on this day in 1945. Nearly 20,000 U.S. soldiers lost their lives before the island was finally taken from the Japanese a month later.

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ALLIED FORCES: The ground war in Operation Desert Storm began on this day in 1991. After an air campaign lasting slightly more than a month, the allies launched their offensive against Iraqi forces, which had invaded Kuwait in August 1990.

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

 

Quotable:

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.”

— author W.E.B. Du Bois, who was born on this day in 1868


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