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Brooklyn Today for April 23

William Shakespeare's portrait in a 2009 photo. AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Good morning. Today is the 111th day of the year.

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The Brooklyn Heights Branch Library is hosting a poetry reading focusing on the climate crisis with poets Daniela Gioseffi and Nancy Mercado today at 6:15 p.m. The authors will be available to sign their books after the reading and discussion. … Assemblyman William Colton is holding a “Women of Distinction” awards ceremony to honor women of the community at 7:30 p.m. in Bensonhurst. … BP Adams is hosting the launch of Borough Hall exhibition “Art of the 5 Brooklyn: In Unity There is Strength” today from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition features paintings, sculpture, photography and more from twelve Brooklyn-based artists. ... The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, City Parks Foundation and Hudson River Foundation are holding two public meetings today, one at 3:30 and one at 6:30 p.m., to discuss the Newtown Creek Environmental Benefits Progress, in Long Island City.

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Notable people born today include Shirley Temple Black, comedian George Lopez, filmmaker Michael Moore, actor Kal Penn, and actress Joyce Dewitt.

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James Buchanan was born on this day in 1791. He was the 15th president of the U.S. He was born in Cove Gap, Penn. He was the only president who never married. He served one term in office, and died in 1868.

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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra died today in 1616. He was a Spanish playwright, poet and novelist. His most famous work was “Don Quixote.”

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On this day in 1896, the first movie theater opened at Koster and Bials Music Hall in New York City. Up until this time, people saw films individually by looking into a Kinetoscope. This was the first time an audience sat in a theater and watched a movie together.

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The first public school in America opened on this day in 1635, The Boston Latin School.

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William Shakespeare was born today in 1564. He was the author of at least 38 plays and 154 sonnets. He created the most influential and lasting body of work in the English language, an extraordinary exploration of human nature. He contributed thousands of words to the English language and expanded the dramatic possibilities of blank verse, making it mimic the rhythm of speech even as he elevated speech to poetry.

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On this day in April 23, 1890, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle published an article titled “Three Cases of Lunacy: Strange Fancies of Patrick McDonald, Mary O’Leary and Jacob Blatz.” The article published accounts of two doctors, O’Connell and Metcalfe, of some delusions their mental hospital patients were having. “Justice Cowenhoven, of New Utrecht, recently sent Patrick McDonald, of Gravesend, to the jail for ten days, and there he got an insane idea that by talking through the sewer pipe of his cell he could be heard in Denmark. Drs. O’Connell and Metcalf have declared him insane, and he will be sent to the asylum. Meanwhile, “Mary O’Leary, of Flatbush, has also become possessed of great wealth, in her mind, during the past few days. She is at the hospital and there she told Dr. O’Connell that she owned all the Brooklyn City Railroad Company’s plant, $5,000,000, and a fleet of ships, beside three brown stone front houses on St. Marks place. She is stingy, though, and refused to lend Dr. O’Connell $5,000.” Finally, “Jacob Blatz is also a victim of delusions at the hospital. He never drank anything strong in his life, his friends say, but he has artistic visions that an old timer might be proud of. Red devils on blue horses with green tails and flaming eyes come through the walls of his room and give the greatest show on earth. Drs. Metcalfe and O’Connell do not know whether this sudden irruption of lunacy is due to the new moon or not.”

 

April 23, 2014 - 11:15am


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