Brooklyn Boro

May 23: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

May 23, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1923, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Of the more than 1,000,000 old law tenements which are in use in New York City, the majority are in Brooklyn, it was stated yesterday by Mrs. Katherine Sloan Pratt, chairman of the metropolitan housing committee of the Y.W.C.A. of Brooklyn, who delivered an address at the annual spring tea of the room registry committee of the Centry Y.M.C.A. at 30 3rd ave. For this reason, she declared, the death rate is high and juvenile crime flourishes. ‘Cities, especially New York, are very backward in respect to housing,’ she said, ‘a matter so vital to the health of the city and meaning so much to social welfare. In no other city are there the same appalling conditions with regard to light and air in the homes of the poor, in no other city is congestion and overcrowding so great. And in no other city do the poor suffer so from excessive rents … On the other hand, nowhere are the problems so difficult of solution. Our city officials are not indifferent but so occupied with other matters such as subways, water, police and fire, that housing does not get the attention needed. Steps forward have been taken in recent bills, and laws have been passed, but no law is self-enforcing.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1934, the Eagle reported, “The exclusive Hole-in-One Club on Governors Island has two new members. Mrs. John F.R. Seitz, wife of Lieutenant Seitz and the daughter of Maj. Raymond W. Hardenburgh of the 16th U.S. Infantry, was playing with Mrs. William H. Jones Jr., wife of Major Jones of the General Staff Corps, yesterday. She swung at the ball. Up and out it went for 162 yards on the fifth hole. The ball crept up to the cup and sank out of sight for an ace stroke. Fred S. Chamberlain, son of Col. Fred V.S. Chamberlain of the General Staff Corps, made a hole-in-one on the eighth hole on Sunday with a 138-yard drive.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “Brig. Gen. Frank T. Hines, veterans administrator, disclosed today that the site for a veterans’ hospital in Brooklyn has been chosen. ‘Brooklyn will have its hospital right quick,’ he said. Last week, surveyors from General Hines’ office were in Brooklyn inspecting six possible sites. The principal area surveyed was the 20-acre plot at Fort Hamilton facing Dyker Beach, which has been the choice of most veterans groups and other interested parties. General Hines made his statement at a luncheon of the Disabled American Veterans at the Hotel Commodore at which a campaign to raise $10,000,000 was launched. It is expected that the new hospital will be authorized and built during 1946.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “The most important step the United States can take in international affairs is to ratify the Atlantic Pact, according to United States Senator Irving M. Ives. Speaking at the 29th annual memorial exercises of the Queens American Legion yesterday in Richmond Hill High School, Senator Ives said, ‘In my judgment, if we do not have the Atlantic Pact, we are more likely to have war than if we do have it.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Brooklyn Heights Press reported, “If you should glance upward tomorrow and catch sight of the Brooklyn Bridge, wish it a happy birthday, its 80th. Four score and thirteen years ago work was started on the span that was to become an engineering marvel of beauty and simplicity. And on May 24, 1883, a quarter of a million persons crossed the bridge on the first day it was opened to the public. Today’s auto traffic across the span’s six lanes bears little resemblance to the horse-drawn vehicles that used Brooklyn Bridge in its early days. But one thing remains constant: the bridge still remains a pedestrian route for Heights folks who work in the downtown Manhattan area. Eighty years of operation have produced a varied cavalcade rolling past those four generations of pedestrians — horse-drawn carts, livestock on the hoof, cable cars, electric trolleys, elevated trains, autos and even four elephants paraded by P.T. Barnum, the showman, in 1885 to prove the span’s structural soundness.”

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Maxwell
Seth Wenig/AP
Ryan Coogler
Phil McCarten/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Suddenly Susan” star Barbara Barrie, who was born in 1931; “Dynasty” star Joan Collins, who was born in 1933; Basketball Hall of Famer Rod Thorn, who was born in 1941; N.Y. Mets manager Buck Showalter, who was born in 1956; “Tuesdays with Morrie” author Mitch Albom, who was born in 1958; “Orange is the New Black” star Lea DeLaria, who was born in 1958; “The Price Is Right” host Drew Carey, who was born in 1958; “The Walking Dead” star Melissa McBride, who was born in 1965; “Pretty Wings” singer Maxwell, who was born in Brooklyn in 1973; “Hands” singer Jewel, who was born in 1974; “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler, who was born in 1986; and NFL defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who was born in 1991.

Buck Showalter
Sue Ogrocki/AP

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FULL ATTENTION: Franz Anton Mesmer was born on this day in 1734. The German physician used magnetism and hypnotism to treat disease — a therapeutic movement known as “mesmerism.” He died in 1815.

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WINGS OF CHANGE: Edward Norton Lorenz was born in Connecticut on this day in 1917. The influential mathematician, meteorologist and father of chaos theory formulated the idea of the “butterfly effect” — that a small, seemingly insignificant act or disturbance can actually have huge consequences. His famous 1972 talk, “Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?” helped popularize the notion. He died in 2008.

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

 

Quotable:

“I’ll tell you what, if we don’t get off to a good start, you’ll see cotton uniforms.”

— N.Y. Mets manager Buck Showalter, who was born on this day in 1956


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