Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Good morning. Today is the 78th day of the year. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of March 19, 1902, carried a story about a pier fire in Hoboken that basically destroyed a freighter, bound for Antwerp, called the “British Queen.” According to the Eagle, 90 longshoremen were working on the ship at the time of the fire, one died, and several were taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Hoboken. One Brooklyn resident, a firefighter assigned to a boat that was fighting the blaze in the Hudson River, died in the conflagration.
While there were several theories about how the fire started, according to the Eagle, one rumor had it that the “British Queen” was filled with explosives that were destined to be shipped to Antwerp, and from there to South Africa to be used by Afrikaner fighters in the Boer War. Ironically, the Afrikaners were fighting the British.
Well-known people who were born today include actress Ursula Andress ("Dr. No,” “What’s New Pussycat”), actor Bruce Willis ("Die Hard,” "Sin City”), author Philip Roth (“Portnoy’s Complaint,” "Goodbye Columbus”) and actress Glenn Close ("The Big Chill,” "Fatal Attraction”).
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