Brooklyn Boro

March 31: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

March 31, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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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 1963, the Eagle reported, “Helen Klaben, of 1763 78th St., Bensonhurst, the 21-year-old Brooklyn ‘Miracle Girl’ who survived a plane crash and a 50-day ordeal of starvation and sub-zero cold in the Yukon, came home yesterday and was reunited with her family. She arrived from the Yukon at Idlewild Airport on a stretcher, and after a brief interlude with reporters was removed to the Harkness Pavilion of the Columbia Medical Center in upper Manhattan. Helen, wan and suffering a loss of 40 pounds, had plaster casts on her left arm, which had been broken, and both feet. She faces the loss of the toes on her right foot because of gangrene that set in after frostbite. Meeting her at the airport were her mother, Mrs. Ida Klaben, her brothers, Martin and Arthur, and her sisters, Fran and Linda. It was a tearful, but happy, reunion. Her brother Arthur, an aircraft engineer in Connecticut, had gone to White Horse, in the Yukon, to pick up his sister and accompany her here. Helen, despite her ordeal, was cheerful on her arrival. Her bravery and cheerfulness have been outstanding since she was first sighted, along with her pilot and fellow passenger, Ralph Flores, of San Bruno, Cal., on a mountainside deep in the Canadian wilds last Monday.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “Four senior high school basketball stars from California, Pennsylvania, Florida and Washington, D.C., and a 7-foot sophomore youngster from New York City were chosen today for the seventh annual Parade Magazine schoolboy All-America. Lou Alcindor, a 15-year-old center from Power Memorial Academy in New York, who has been compared to Wilt Chamberlain at this stage of his development, is the first sophomore to win a first-team berth since this All-America was instituted in 1957 … These five players will be presented on the Ed Sullivan CBS television show tonight.” Alcindor, who went to college at UCLA, was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the first pick of the 1969 NBA draft. In 1971 he changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the rest is history.

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Christopher Walken
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Ewan McGregor
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Boy Meets World” star William Daniels, who was born in Brooklyn in 1927; “Dr. Kildare” star Richard Chamberlain, who was born in 1934; Oscar-winning actress Shirley Jones, who was born in 1934; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer 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.

Rhea Perlman
Ryan Miller/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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