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Brooklyn Today for May 19

Kevin Garnett. AP photo

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Brooklyn Community Board 6 is holding a meeting today. There will be a presentation and discussion with representatives for the New York City Economic Development Corporation on the DockNYC program, the NYSolar Smart Solarize program and other topics of interest related to the district at 6:30 p.m. … Greenlight Bookstore is hosting international bestselling author Colum McCann in conversation with Phil Klay for the paperback launch of his highly-acclaimed novel “TransAtlantic.” Klay is the author of the acclaimed story collection “Redeployment.”

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Notable people born on this day include Nets player Kevin Garnett, who turns 38; “The Who” guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend, who turns 69; former PBS NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer, who turns 80; and former football player Archie Manning (the father of football players Eli Manning and Peyton Manning), who turns 65.

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Vietnamese leader and first president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, was probably born on this day in 1890. His original name was Nguyen That Thanh. He died in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 1969. The anniversary of his birth is a national holiday in Vietnam, as is the anniversary of his death.

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It is National Backyard Games week, a time to celebrate the unofficial start of summer by fostering social interaction and family togetherness through backyard games.

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Commander of the ill-fated space shuttle Challenger, 46-year-old pilot Francis R. Scobee, was born on this day in 1939. Scobee had been in the astronaut program since 1978 and had been pilot of the Challenger in 1984. He perished with all others on board when the Challenger exploded on Jan. 28, 1986.

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American playwright Lorraine Hansberry was born on this day in 1930, in Chicago. For her now classic play “A Raisin in the Sun,” she became the youngest American and first African American to win the Best Play Award from the New York Critics’ Circle. The play, titled after the Langston Hughes poem, deals with issues such as racism, cultural pride and self-respect and was the first stage production written by a black woman to appear on Broadway. She died of cancer in 1965 in New York, N.Y.

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It is Dark Day today in New England. At noon on this day in 1780, near-total darkness unaccountably descended on much of New England. Candles were lit, fowls went to roost and many fearful persons believed that doomsday had arrived. At New Haven, Conn., Colonel Abraham Davenport opposed adjournment of the town council with these words: “I am against adjournment. The day of judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for an adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.” No scientifically verifiable cause for this widespread phenomenon was ever discovered.

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Ann Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII, was executed on this day in 1536. Born around 1501, Boleyn was the catalyst that made Henry VIII break with the Catholic Church (which didn’t allow divorce) after she demanded he make her his wife, not just a mistress, causing him to pursue a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Boleyn’s inability to bear a male heir (although her daughter with Henry was the future Queen Elizabeth I) and court intrigue caused her arrest on charges of adultery. She was executed by sword at the Tower of London. The morning of her execution she said, “I heard say the executioner was very good, and I have a little neck.”

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On this day in 1898, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on new real estate sales in a column title “Real Estate Market.” “George E. Lovett & Co. of 28 Court [S]treet have sold for H. Olsen to John J Carey for $3,500, 50 Fourth [A]venue, corner of Dean [S]treet, a four story brick house with store, covering a lot 20x42.16.” Not a bad price for Downtown Brooklyn!

The same issue of the Eagle also reported on two girls who “hoodwinked” the police, by claiming they were sisters and in destitution. “Officer Frank Folk of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children learned this morning that two girls who have been taken care of by the society for nearly a week past, upon the belief that they were destitute and deserving, were very clever at the art of deception, and had practiced it with considerable success upon both the officers of the society and two of the city magistrates. … The girls are the two who were taken into custody by Policeman Charles Brunner of the Liberty [A]venue station about 12 o’clock one night in East New York. The policeman met the girls on the street and they told him that they were sisters and orphans, with neither home nor food.” It turned out that one of the girls was married and the other lived with her aunt, and they were not sisters at all.

 

May 19, 2014 - 9:00am


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