Brooklyn Today for April 18, 2013

Good morning. Today is the 108th day of the year. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of April 18, 1878, carried an article titled “Passover: An Important Jewish Festival.” Since 1878 was shortly before the start of large-scale Jewish immigration to the U.S. from Europe, Passover was probably unfamiliar to many of the Eagle’s readers. The article describes the reason for the holiday (to commemorate Moses’ leading the Jewish out of Egyptian slavery into the Promised Land) and many of its rituals, such as the use of the Hagaddah, the four cups of wine, the bitter herbs and the eating of matzohs.

The Eagle didn’t mention how Passover was being observed by the relatively small number of Jews in Brooklyn at the time or mention some of the prominent Jews living in the city. It did, however, allude to the difference between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews in terms of observance.

Well-known people who were born today include actress Hayley Mills (“The Parent Trap,” “Pollyanna”), actress Barbara Hale (“Perry Mason”), TV talk show host Conan O’Brien and actress America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”).