Brooklyn Boro

March 23: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

March 23, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1902, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “During the progress of the disastrous fire at the Park Avenue Hotel, in Manhattan, a fireman stood on the narrow ledge of ornamental masonry above the main doorway of the hotel and caught safely in his arms a young woman who crawled from the window of her room and then dropped two stories to escape the flames. Spectators of the rescue cheered in frenzied admiration of a feat which to them seemed miraculous. The fireman was unmoved. He was too busy doing something with a rope to think about being a hero. Moreover, it subsequently appeared that he considered he had only done a very ordinary thing. He said he had merely done what he had been taught to do at the training school. The people of Greater New York are justly proud of their Fire Department, but it is one of the curious facts of city life that the public knows more about the training of almost any other body of civic employees than it does about its firemen. Everyone seems to be well informed concerning the preliminary training of the policeman, but the public’s knowledge of the way in which firemen are made is of the haziest. The fact that politics has no place in the Fire Department and that the life is of the hardest and loneliest may have something to do with this ignorance.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1930, the Eagle reported, “The new planet is not living up to expectations. Astronomers point to the fact that a 16th magnitude body is not what was anticipated as the major planet beyond Neptune. Dr. Walter S. Adams, director of the Mount Wilson Observatory, in a communication to the writer, states that this faintness may be due to very low reflecting power, small size or both, and would suggest the possibility of a new asteroid group. The statement by Dr. Adams gives support to the discovery made by the writer that the new planet undoubtedly belongs to a group of which Neptune is a member. Under this theory, which was outlined in the Eagle immediately after the announcement of the discovery of the planet, the new body would be a minor planet instead of a major planet and would be one of a group of planets revolving in orbits between 30 and 0 astronomical units from the sun. (The distance of the earth from the sun is one unit.)”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “Lafayette High’s baseball team showed both pitching and batting strength in its non-league 9-2 win over Textile at Lafayette High yesterday. Fred Wilpon, the ace of the Frenchy staff last year, Tom LoVerdi and Guy Cutile shared the mound chores for Lafayette, limiting Textile to four hits. Wilpon allowed one safety in his two innings on the mound. Jimmy Tedesco and Dan Mazzola led the Lafayette batting attack with two hits each.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “ALBANY (UPI) — A bill to eliminate New York’s mandatory death penalty for premeditated first-degree murder was sent to the Senate yesterday following Assembly passage. The larger house passed the bill yesterday by a vote of 110-12. Assemblyman Richard Bartlett, R-Warren, introduced the bill which resulted from a study by the Temporary Commission on revision of the Penal Law and Criminal Code. Bartlett said the bill would set up a two-stage procedure in murder trials. The jury would first decide from the evidence the guilt or innocence of the accused. If the verdict was guilty, the jury would then decide the sentence of a convicted killer. Rules of evidence would be realized and the background, past record and other information would be considered in the second phase. Assemblyman Daniel Becker, R-Orange, opposed the bill and said it was a ‘step in the direction of doing away with capital punishment.’ Becker contended the death penalty was a deterrent to murder. He said many lives had been spared because the would-be killer feared the death sentence. The measure also declares that a person under 18 years old could not be sentenced for murder.”

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Chaka Khan
Nam Huh/AP
Ayesha Curry
Chris Pizzello/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include football player and broadcaster Ron Jaworski, who was born in 1951; science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson, who was born in 1952; former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was born in 1952; “I Feel for You” singer Chaka Khan, who was born in 1953; fashion designer Kenneth Cole, who was born in Brooklyn in 1954; “Pulp Fiction” star Amanda Plummer, who was born in 1957; “American Splendor” star Hope Davis, who was born in 1964; Basketball Hall of Famer Jason Kidd, who was born in 1973; “Patriots Day” star Michelle Monaghan, who was born in 1976; “Felicity” star Keri Russell, who was born in 1976; former N.Y. Jets and Giants receiver Brandon Marshall, who was born in 1984; former N.Y. Yankees and Mets reliever Dellin Betances, who was born in 1988; and author and TV personality Ayesha Curry, who was born in 1989.

Keri Russell
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

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IT’S ALL GOOD: The Boston Morning Post printed the first known “ok” on this day in 1839. It derived from a jovial misspelling of “all correct” – “oll korrect.” Etymologist Allen Reed doggedly tracked down the word’s origin in the 1960s. “OK” is now used in most languages.

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ROCK ON: Planet Earth had a close call on this day in 1989 when a mountain-sized asteroid passed it within 500,000 miles. Impact would have equaled the strength of 40,000 hydrogen bombs, created a crater the size of the District of Columbia and devastated everything for 100 miles in all directions.

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

 

Quotable:

“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.”

— Oscar-winner Joan Crawford, who was born on this day in 1904


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