Brooklyn Boro

May 19: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

May 19, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1843, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Senator Niles. — The Hartford Courant states that Mr. [John Milton] Niles is in delicate health, but does not think he has ever entertained the idea of resigning his seat on that account. He has left home on a journey, for the benefit of his health, and strong hopes are entertained that travel and change of scene will restore him to his accustomed physical and mental vigor.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1946, the Eagle reported, “Col. William A. Dawkins announced last night that the annual Memorial Day parade this year will be along Eastern Parkway, from Ralph Ave. to Grand Army Plaza, instead of Bedford Ave., as in the past. Colonel Dawkins, head of the Spanish War Veterans in Brooklyn, will be grand marshal of the parade. Augmented by more World War II veterans than have ever participated before, marchers are expected to number between 25,000 and 30,000. They will be viewed, according to police estimate, by approximately 500,000 spectators. Colonel Dawkins said that starting at 10 a.m. from Utica Ave. and Eastern Parkway, the parade will move on Eastern Parkway past the reviewing stand at the public library, then through the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch where the marchers will disband.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1947, the Eagle reported, “UKIAH, CAL. (U.P.) — Seabiscuit, the gallant little runt who made champions look like plow nags, today lies buried beneath a fresh mound of earth in front of the mansion-like ranchhouse at C.S. Howard’s Ridgewood Ranch. The first citizen of Ukiah has passed away, and this little mountain town is hushed. The people were proud of Seabiscuit. He used to bring folks from miles away — just to watch him pacing around his rolling green kingdom. The Biscuit died as he lived — fighting to the last. When they bedded him down Saturday night he seemed to be all right. But early Sunday morning his groom was awakened by the sound of a struggle from a nearby stall. The Biscuit was down, but he had put up a fight before he was licked. Dr. John W. Britton, the farm’s veterinarian, was called but the great heart stopped beating 10 minutes later. It was a heart attack, the doctor said.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1950, Eagle sports columnist Tommy Holmes said, “This is the weekend of the Preakness coming up and that, of course, is the dash for the second jewel in racing’s mythic triple crown. The Spring feature at the old hilltop track on the outskirts of Baltimore never has or never will capture the public imagination like the Kentucky Derby. Nevertheless, it is a distinguished race in its own right. The first Preakness was run in 1873, two years before a little red horse called Aristides captured the first Derby. Moreover, this race is held in territory far older in racing tradition than the glamorous blue-grass region of Kentucky. The first known racing trophy in America was the Annapolis Subscription Plate, run for on May 4, 1743 at the Maryland Jockey Club’s race course. There exists in the papers of George Washington a diary accounting of a day at the races at the original Maryland Jockey Club in Annapolis. That was dated 1762. Washington owned race horses and raced them against the best to be found. He traveled many miles, on horseback himself, just to see a good horse race.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1955, the Bay Ridge Home Reporter said, “The sun beamed its blessing upon 20,000 Norwegian-American paraders and some 100,000 spectators who once again proved this Sunday that Eighth Avenue is still Lapskaus Boulevard. Celebrating the 17th of May, Norway’s equivalent of our Fourth of July, the paraders marched past hundreds of Norwegian and American flags bedecking local store windows, winding up in Liev Eiriksson Square for the traditional ceremonies in front of Sons of Norway House, 641 66th St. A good part of the spotlight was held by the Viking Junior Band, resplendent in new uniforms patterned after the Norwegian national colors, red and blue with white trim. The youngsters stole the show during the parade when they broke out with music at various points along the route.”

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NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include original “Good Morning America” host David Hartman, who was born in 1935; “Flower Drum Song” star Nancy Kwan, who was born in 1939; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Pete Townshend (The Who), who was born in 1945; “Conan the Destroyer” star Grace Jones, who was born in 1948; College Football Hall of Famer Archie Manning, who was born in 1949; former N.Y. Yankees catcher and broadcaster Rick Cerone, who was born in 1954; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Phil Rudd (AC/DC), who was born in 1954; computer scientist and Java designer James Gosling, who was born in 1955; former N.Y. Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer, who was born in 1957; Basketball Hall of Famer and former Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett, who was born in 1976; and “Saturday Night Live” star Michael Che, who was born in 1983.

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IN THE DARK: On this day in 1780, at midday, near total darkness unaccountably descended on much of New England, causing many people to believe that doomsday had arrived. In New Haven, Connecticut, Col. Abraham Davenport opposed adjournment of the town council by saying, “The day of judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for an adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.”

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TRANSFORMATION: Malcolm X was born on this day in 1925. The black nationalist and civil rights leader was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska. While serving a prison term, he resolved to transform his life. Upon his release in 1952, he changed his name to Malcolm X and worked for the Nation of Islam until he was suspended in 1963. He later made a pilgrimage to Mecca and became an orthodox Muslim. He was assassinated as he spoke at a meeting in the Audubon Ballroom in New York City on Feb. 21, 1965.

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

 

Quotable:

“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”

— civil rights leader Malcolm X, who was born on this day in 1925


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