Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Good morning. Today is the 55th day of the year. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle for Feb. 24, 1869, carried a story headlined, “Tempest in Weeksville: Colored People Object to a White Teacher.” Weeksville was the African-American settlement in eastern Bedford-Stuyvesant whose memory has now been preserved with the Historic Weeksville complex.
According to the Eagle, one of the teachers, an African-American woman, fell sick, and the Brooklyn Superintendent of Schools replaced her with a white teacher. A group of Weeksville residents soon sent a petition to the Brooklyn Board of Education protesting that the decision betrayed “a wanton disregard for the feeling of colored parents and taxpayers, and was done in the spirit of the Dred Scott Decision—that we have no rights that the white man need respect.”
Soon, however, a smaller group of Weeksville residents submitted another petition, calling the objections to the white teacher “wanton and silly.”
Well-known people who were born today include actor Abe Vigoda (“Barney Miller”), actor Steven Hill (“Law & Order”), lawyer-author Mark Lane, actor Barry Bostwick, actress Helen Shaver and TV newscaster Paula Zahn.