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March 24: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

March 24, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1900, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Many a spadeful of earth has been upturned on Manhattan Island, but never was an upturning attended by so much significance as that performed with a silver spade in front of the City Hall this afternoon. For years New Yorkers, official and unofficial, rich and poor, have thought and talked about rapid transit, the ever growing problem of the metropolis. During the past twelve months, in municipal circles, there has been no topic to rival it in public importance, and today Mayor [Robert] Van Wyck, in the presence of the Rapid Transit Commission and the invited guests of the city, made the work a reality and not a scheme. Millions of dollars will have to be spent before New York can be equipped with a transit system such as the commissioners have planned. To complete the project in its entirety will take a long time, but a start is everything, and this afternoon New York’s greatest public improvement had its formal beginning.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1912, Eagle columnist Frederick Boyd Stevenson wrote, “A Brooklyn man is now Health Officer of the Port of New York. He has taken charge of the Quarantine Station, and the indications are that good results will follow. It is a trite saying that a new broom sweeps clean, but from the way that Dr. Joseph J. O’Connell has taken hold of the situation, there is every reason to suppose that this particular broom will continue to sweep clean. And there is ample room for a general clean-up over at Staten Island and the two other islands that form part of the Quarantine service. Dr. O’Connell has gone into this thing with the full determination to give this community a clean bill of health and to protect it from the danger of contagious diseases that are constantly menacing it from foreign shores. There is no need of going into past conditions in the Quarantine service. That proposition has all been thrashed out. The people of New York and the United States are concerned now only with the future.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “LONDON (UP) — Dowager Queen Mary, the grand old lady of the British Commonwealth, has suffered an internal hemorrhage and her heart action is weakening seriously, it was disclosed today. The physicians of the 85-year-old grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II fear she may not live through the day. The Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual head of the Church of England, was summoned to her bedside after it became evident that her condition was desperate. Other members of the royal family, including the Duke of Windsor, her favorite son, and Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, her only daughter, gathered at her old brick mansion, Marlborough House. Queen Elizabeth, whom the old lady used to hold in her arms as an infant, awaited a call to the bedside from nearby Buckingham Palace, where she was working on state papers … It was understood that, in keeping with the standard that had made her beloved by all her people, she had expressed the wish in her will that if she died, the coronation of the young queen should be held as scheduled June 2.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “ALBANY — Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s unannounced campaign for the 1964 Republican presidential nomination will get under way in earnest now that the annual session of the State Legislature is nearing an end. The governor, it was learned, until now has turned down numerous invitations to speak out-of-state because he felt he had to be in Albany while his aides were working out the conflict over his budget recommendations. ‘We have been holding our outside trips to weekends because of the legislative session,’ one of the governor’s assistants said. ‘Of course we won’t accept every invitation that comes along but we are more available now than we were a week ago.’ In his fight with GOP legislators over ways of balancing a $2.89 billion budget, Rockefeller won ‘half a loaf.’ He kept pay-as-you-go but lost some money for pet projects in the process. As a result, the programs will have to be shelved for at least another year. One of the most frequent questions asked by New York politicians these days is: How does all this affect Rockefeller’s presidential hopes?”

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Jessica Chastain
Grant Pollard/Invision/AP
Annabella Sciorra
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include fashion designer Bob Mackie, who was born in 1939; paleontologist Robert T. Bakker, who was born in 1945; World Golf Hall of Famer Pat Bradley, who was born in 1951; fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, who was born in 1951; former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who was born in 1956; animator Bill Wray, who was born in 1956; former N.Y. Knicks coach Mike Woodson, who was born in 1958; “Weird Science” star Kelly LeBrock, who was born in 1960; “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” star Annabella Sciorra, who was born in Brooklyn in 1960; “Twin Peaks” star Lara Flynn Boyle, who was born in 1970; “Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons, who was born in 1973; “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star Alyson Hannigan, who was born in 1974; Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, who was born in 1976; “It” star Jessica Chastain, who was born in 1977; “Boston Legal” star Lake Bell, who was born in 1979; and Basketball Hall of Famer Chris Bosh, who was born in 1984.

Peyton Manning
Jack Dempsey/AP

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FULL HOUSE: The British Parliament passed the Quartering Act on this day in 1765. It required the American colonies to provide barracks for British troops. If the barracks were insufficient, the colonies would be required to house the troops in livery stables, inns, ale houses, victualling houses and houses of wine sellers. And if there still wasn’t enough room, “the colonies were then required to take, hire and make fit for the reception of his Majesty’s forces, such and so many uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings as shall be necessary.”

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ALL SHOOK UP: Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army on this day in 1958. The 23-year-old rock n’ roll sensation and budding movie star was sent for training at Fort Hood in Texas and shipped out to West Germany from the Brooklyn Army Terminal in September. Sgt. Presley was discharged on March 5, 1960.

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

 

Quotable:

“Dinosaurs are the jumper cables to the human mind. Kids can’t curb their enthusiasm when they’re in a hall of dinosaurs and mammoths and mammoth hunters and trilobites and giant fish that could chomp up a shark.”

— paleontologist Robert T. Bakker, who was born on this day in 1945


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