Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Good morning. Today is the 204th day of the year. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of July 23, 1879, carried a short article about the Brighton Beach Racetrack, which was fairly new at the time. The Eagle said the track attracted “large and fashionable assemblages,” and that “our prediction that the course would become the best in the country has been verified.” The racetrack’s management had just announced that racing would be continued through the fall. “This announcement will be received with gratification by intelligent lovers of turf sports,” said the Eagle.
The Brighton racetrack, like nearby racetracks in Gravesend and Sheepshead Bay, was dealt a mortal blow in 1908 when the state legislature banned gambling. Although the ban was lifted in 1913, its repeal came too late to save the Brooklyn seaside tracks. Today housing built in the 1920s occupies the sites of all three facilities.
Well-known people who were born today include actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Capote,” “Boogie Nights”), radio personality Don Imus, Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy , actor Woody Harrelson (“Cheers”) and actor Marlon Wayans (“In Living Color”).