Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Good morning. Today is the 353rd day of the year. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Dec. 18, 1843, contained a letter from P.T. Barnum defending the good name of his “American Museum.” The “museum” presented such “oddities” as a loom run by a dog, a limb from a tree that Jesus supposedly sat under, a mummified monkey’s torso with a fish’s tail grafted onto it (the “Feejee Mermaid”), the original Siamese twins, beluga whales in an aquarium, giants, dwarves, trained bears and blackface minstrels. Barnum went on to found what is now Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Well-known people who were born today include singer Christina Aguilera, actress Rachel Griffiths (“Hillary and Jackie”), movie critic Leonard Maitlin, actor Ray Liotta (“Goodfellas,” ‘Field of Dreams”), former basketball player Charles Oakley, actor Brad Pitt (“Ocean’s Eleven,” ‘Babel”), musician-singer Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and producer-director Steven Spielberg (“E.T.,” the “Indiana Jones” movies,” ‘Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan”).
Today from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corp. will present a holiday party at the Bell House, 194 Seventh Ave., Gowanus. The organization will be collecting unwrapped toys on behalf of the Wyckoff Gardens Association at the event. Please RSVP to David Meade at (718) 965-3100, ext. 108.