Brooklyn Today for April 17

Good morning. Today is the 107th day of the year. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle for April 17, 1899, carried an advertisement for Ayers’ Sasparilla. Sasparilla was a type of soft drink that was popular in the 19th century, similar to root beer, and was thought to be a cure for all sorts of ailments. Interestingly, the ad begins, “Ever have the blues?” The phrase “having the blues,” meaning being downcast and depressed, was widely used way before the name was given to a particular type of music.

Well-known people who were born today include actor Sean Bean, designer-singer Victoria Beckham (formerly of the Spice Girls), feminist writer Cynthia Ozick, singer-songwriter Liz Phair and actress Olivia Hussey.