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Brooklyn Today for April 17

Rooney Mara, Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Brooklyn Daily Eagle


Today is the 105th day of the year.


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MEMBERS OF THE Brooklyn Museum can preview the new Ai Weiwei exhibition, “According to What?” before it opens to the public today from 1-10 p.m. … ALSO AT THE museum today are two free tours that are open to the public. At 1 p.m., there will be a tour of “Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties.” At 2 p.m., there will be a tour of “Cubism in American Art.” … ART ENTHUSIASTS MAY also be interested in stopping by Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO from 1-6 p.m. to see an exhibition of the work of Pratt Institute seniors.

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NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN today include Victoria Beckham (“Posh Spice”), actresses Jennifer Garner and Rooney Mara, the feminist writer Cynthia Ozick, and singer Liz Phair.

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THORNTON WILDER WAS born today in 1897. He was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright and novelist. He wrote “Our Town,” and he died in 1975.

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JOHN PIERPONT MORGAN was born today 1837. He was an American financier and corporation director, born in Hartford, Conn. He died in 1913 in Rome, leaving an estate valued at more than $70 million.

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SAMUEL CHASE, ONE of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was born troday in 1741. He died in Maryland in 1811.

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TODAY IS THE anniversary of the launch of the Bay of Pigs. In 1961, more than 1,500 Cuban exiles invaded Cuba in an ill-fated attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro.

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CAMBODIA FELL TO the Khmer Rouge on this day in 1975. Phnom Penh, the capital, was captured by the Khmer Rouge and the Pol Pot regime inaugurated “Year One,” and began the wholesale slaughter of intellectuals, political enemies and peasants. As many as two million Cambodians perished.

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IT IS ELLIS Island Family History Day. Sponsored by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc, this annual day recognizes the achievements and contributions made to America by Ellis Island immigrants and their descendants. Historically, April 17 is the day in 1907 when more immigrants were processed through the island than on any other day in its history: 11,747 people.

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IT’S NATIONAL HAIKU Poetry Day, a time to celebrate the genre of haiku, whose origins date back a millennium in Japan; and more specifically of English-language haiku, which has now been written for more than a century.

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BLAH BLAH BLAH DAY, a holiday to do whatever, is today. Stop smoking, take out the trash, empty the cat litter, clean your room, quit your job, watch TV or do nothing at all—all acts are considered ways to celebrate this annual holiday.

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IT IS ALSO Support Teen Literature Day. To raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens.

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TODAY IN 1524, Giovanni Verrazano, a Florentine navigator, found New York Harbour.

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ON THIS DAY in 1900, the American flag was first raised in what was formerly Eastern Samoa. It is now a national holiday.

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ON THIS DAY IN 1856, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle a boat ferry boat was accidently released on its route without anyone at the helm. The paper described the incident as thus: “On Monday evening, about 9 o’clock, one of the Peck slip ferry boats got adrift in crossing the river. It appears that as usual, the boat was rung off by the gate keeper, the chains unhooked, and, as the engineer states, the pilot’s bell rung to start the boat. … Accordingly she left the slip, and in clearing the end of the dock, some of the passengers noticed that she sheered in towards the Navy Yard shore. Supposing that this was in consequence of the tide in the river, no notice was taken of it, but soon after it was seen that instead of changing her course, she was moving rapidly towards the Cobb dock. Some of the passengers then called out to the engineer to stop her, which being done, it was found that she was without a pilot. One of the same line of boats was hailed, and a person put aboard of her, who took her back to the dock. We did not learn the cause of the absence of the pilot.”

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

April 17, 2014 - 12:00pm


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