Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Good morning. Today is the 233rd day of the year. On this day in 1897, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle carried an article with the headline “Officers Move Against Pool Rooms.” By “pool rooms” they meant not billiard parlors, but places where people made bets on horse races. While waiting for the results from the track to come in by telegraph or telephone, they played billiards, and eventually the original meaning of the word was lost. The particular pool rooms in question were not in Brooklyn, but in Maspeth and Ridgewood, Queens. Some of them were in well-known athletic clubs, restaurants and political clubs, creating an embarrassing situation for police.
Well-known people who were born today include track athlete Usain Bolt, singer Kenny Rogers (“Lucille,” “Coward of the County”), actor-director-playwright Melvin Van Peebles (“Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death”), director Peter Weir (“Dead Poets Society,” “Gallipoli”), actor Clarence Williams II (“Mod Squad,” “Purple Rain”) and singer-songwriter Jackie DeShannon (“What the World Needs Now”).