Brooklyn Today: July 31, 2012

Good morning. Today is the 213th day of the year. On this day in 1902, according to the July 31, 1902, issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Mayor Seth Low said the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT), which ran most of the elevated lines in the borough, would be the natural operator of a new subway tunnel under the East River. The tunnel, known as the Montague Street Tunnel, was finished within a few years and remains in service today. As for the BRT, it reorganized in the 1920s as the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Company (BMT), and still later became the BMT Division of the city subway system.

Well-known people who were born today include author J.K. Rowling of the “Harry Potter” series, actor Wesley Snipes ("White Men Can’t Jump," "Jungle Fever") and singer Gary Lewis of Gary Lewis and the Playboys (Jerry Lewis’ son).

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This evening at 7 p.m. at the powerHouse Arena, 37 Main St., novelist Karen Walker Thompson will read from her work and discuss it will literary critic Hannah Tinti. Thompson is the author of “The Age of Miracles.” ... Tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Park Slope Methodist Church, the Fifth Avenue Committee, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) and BrooklynSpeaks will host a showing of Kelly Alexander’s new documentary, “My Brooklyn: The Battle for the Soul of a City,” about gentrification in and around the Fulton Mall. The screening will be followed by a discussion moderated by Michelle de la Uz of the Fifth Avenue Committee.