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Brooklyn Today for May 1

Emilia Clarke. Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Good morning. Today is the 119th day of the year.

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Today the Brooklyn Historical Society is hosting a screening of a documentary on the celebrated children’s book “The Phantom Tollbooth” at 6:30 p.m. The event will also feature a book signing with the author, Norton Juster, which starts at 6 p.m. … Pratt Institute’s 115th annual fashion show is today. It will feature work by seniors graduating from the fashion department. Proceeds from the runway show and following reception will benefit Pratt scholarship funds and the fashion department. The runway show starts at 6 p.m. in Manhattan. … The Friends of Historic New Utrecht is sponsoring an exhibition and lecture by historian Kathryn Jolowicz on the history of the German-American community of New York City titled “The German Cornerstone.” The free event will take place in Bensonhurst.

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Notable people born on this day include director and screenwriter Wes Anderson, hall of fame football player Chuck Bednarik, “Game of Thrones” actress Emilia Clarke, and singers Sonny James and Judy Collins.

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“Citizen Kane” premiered on this day in 1941. Orson Welles’ directorial masterpiece premiered at New York City’s RKO Palace. The premiere had been delayed almost three months due to studio jitters about what media magnate William Randolph Hearst’s reaction would be—since the film was a thinly disguised version of his life. The film’s multiple points of view, deep-focus photography and witty script made it a favorite with critics at the time: John O’Hara in Newsweek said, “Your faithful bystander reports that he has just seen a picture which he thinks must be the best picture he ever saw.” Nominated for nine Academy Awards, “Citizen Kane” won for Best Original Screenplay by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Welles. The film did not perform well commercially (due in part to Hearst’s influence) but it is now regarded as the greatest American film.

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Construction on the first skyscraper—the Home Insurance Company Building in Chicago—began on this day in 1884. The 10-story building was completed in 1885. Designed by William Le Baron Jenney, it had a steel frame that carried the weight of the building. The walls provided no support but hung like curtains on the metal frame. This method of construction revolutionized American architecture and allowed architects to build taller and taller buildings. The Home Insurance Building was demolished in 1931.

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It is May Day. The first day of May has been observed as a holiday since ancient times. Spring festivals, maypoles and maying are still common, but the political importance of May Day has grown since the 1880s, when it became a workers’ day in the U.S. Now widely observed in countries as a workers’ holiday or as Labor Day. In most European countries, when May Day falls on Saturday or Sunday, the Monday following is observed as a holiday, with bank and store closings, parades and other festivities.


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May is Older Americans Month. It has been designated as such since 1963.

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On this day in 890 the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that the “annual [s]pring work of cleansing the streams that run through the wooded portions of Prospect Park of their [w]inter’s accumulation of refuse was begun” the day before “on the prettiest little water course in all that public playground.” In addition to stream cleaning, “[s]quads of men” were “engaged in pruning the trees and bushes, uprooting dead ones and planting new ones, and the lower meadow was sprinkled with bone dust, which [was considered] a fine fertilizer for grass.”

 

May 1, 2014 - 10:00am


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