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April 20: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

April 20, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1912, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The most remarkable photograph of any incident connected with the Titanic disaster was taken by Lewis P. Skidmore, of 381 Vanderbilt avenue, an instructor at Pratt Institute. The photograph shows one of the Titanic’s lifeboats approaching the rescue ship Carpathia early Sunday morning. The picture is not only remarkable as a bit of first-hand evidence, caught by the camera, showing just how these lifeboats filled with survivors looked, but, carefully studied, it presents many remarkable details. It indicates that there was plenty of room left in the boats which put off from the sinking vessel and that, all the women and children having been saved, many of the brave men who gave up their lives were needlessly sacrificed. They could have been taken into the boats, and why they were not is an interesting question. One naturally asks whether the other boats were no more filled than this one, which held much less than half the number of passengers it had capacity for. The photograph outlines the figures of just twenty passengers, although all of the boat did not get in the picture. The lifeboat could have held seventy-five.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1924, the Eagle reported, “NEW ORLEANS (A.P.) — “‘Marihuana,’ or ‘Marijuana,’ as some spell it, the everyday ‘loco weed’ that formerly grew wild on the deserts of northern Mexico, now is being cultivated on thousands of acres in that country for sale to addicts of the plant in this country, according to Valdo Santos, arrested here with five pounds of it in his possession. Santos was charged with violating a city ordinance against the sale and possession of the product. The weed, which Santos said is being sent from Mexico to agents in all parts of the United States for distribution, is smoked in the form of cigarettes and, according to Santos, ‘the business beats bootlegging because the fines are smaller and I sell it for 35 cents a cigarette.’ Authorities say the stuff has almost every known effect upon persons who use it. In some it produces a feeling of exhilaration or grandeur, but instances have been known where crazed addicts have committed murder.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “LONDON (U.P.) — Negotiations for a settlement of the unions’ demands for increased wages broke down today, increasing fears of a general bus service strike during coronation week.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1951, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — The United States plans to send a military mission to Formosa [Taiwan] to train and advise Chinese Nationalist forces, it was learned today. The mission, which will be announced soon, is expected to include about 100 persons. The United States already is shipping a limited amount of free arms to the island bastion of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. This aid may be stepped up to total $50,000,000 during the next fiscal year. The United States thus is completing a reversal of policy toward the Nationalists. Two years ago the United States withdrew its military mission from Chiang and issued a white paper denouncing the Nationalists as corrupt. At that time the United States apparently had decided to let Chiang and his lieutenants get along by themselves as best they could. The Communist aggression in Korea, however, has converted Washington to the idea that Formosa is a key link in America’s Far East defense chain, and should not be allowed to fall into Communist hands. Gen. Douglas MacArthur addressed this point in his address to Congress yesterday.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “Legislation calling for an intensive study of the state’s mental hospitals, with emphasis on the adequacy of research programs and the number of professional and non-professional personnel will be sponsored by Assemblyman Alfred A. Lama, D-Brooklyn. Lama’s move came in the wake of a report by the National Committee Against Illness, which claimed that half of all present mental hospitals still do very little for patients. The committee urges new programs which will mean more psychiatrists, more attendants and other aides, as well as additional psychiatric social workers. Adequate pay for these people also is proposed by the organization. Lama said his measure also would ask that studies be made to determine if small mental hospitals within communities would be more suitable to meet growing needs, before consideration is given to building new state hospitals.”

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Miranda Kerr
Stuart Ramson/AP
George Takei
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Star Trek” star George Takei, who was born in 1937; “Love Story” star Ryan O’Neal, who was born in 1941; “Alien” star Veronica Cartwright, who was born in 1949; two-time Oscar-winner Jessica Lange, who was born in 1949; actor and musician Clint Howard, who was born in 1959; former N.Y. Yankees captain Don Mattingly, who was born in 1961; “Back to the Future” star Crispin Glover, who was born in 1964; “Lord of the Rings” star Andy Serkis, who was born in 1964; Dream Theater founder Mike Portnoy, who was born in 1967; “Criminal Minds” star Shemar Moore, who was born in 1970; Olympic gold medalist and N.Y. Knicks executive Allan Houston, who was born in 1971; “Scary Movie” star Carmen Electra, who was born in 1972; “Blossom” star Joey Lawrence, who was born in 1976; and supermodel Miranda Kerr, who was born in 1983.

Allan Houston
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

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MONUMENTAL: Daniel Chester French was born on this day in 1850. The New Hampshire native was one of the most important artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries as a sculptor of public monuments. He is best known for his 1875 “Minute Man” statue at Concord, Mass., and his 1922 statue of the seated Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. He died in 1931.

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COMBINED MIGHT: Holland “Howling Mad” Smith was born on this day in 1882. The Alabama native is considered the father of amphibious warfare. He developed techniques that involved coordination of land, sea and air forces. During World War II he led troops in assaults in the Marshall and Mariana Islands and also directed forces at Guam, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He died in 1967.

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THE MUSIC MAN: Tito Puente was born in Harlem 100 years ago today. “The King of Mambo” had a six-decade career as a percussionist, composer, arranger and bandleader. He won five Grammys, was inducted into the Jazz and Hispanic halls of fame and received a Smithsonian Lifetime Achievement Award. He died in 2000.

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

 

Quotable:

“If there is no dance, there is no music.”

— bandleader Tito Puente, who was born on this day in 1923


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