- 12-year-old Clarence D. McKenzie was Brooklyn’s first casualty in the Civil War. He was killed in friendly fire when a member of his regiment fired his gun while cleaning it. This is an image of him in July of the year 1861.
- Shortly after the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, there was a panic on the bridge when a woman’s heel got caught in the wooden planks. She screamed and those around her thought the bridge was collapsing, causing a rush off the bridge. 12 people died in the stampede on May 30, 1883. The image to the right is a recreation of the event.
- Steeplechase Park (an amusement park in Coney Island from 1897 to 1964) held an annual “Most Beautiful Grandmother Contest”, beginning in 1932.
- Brooklyn had its very own ice hockey team (shown left) named the Brooklyn Americans (although they weren’t very good).
- Borough President John Cashmore wrote Dodgers star Jackie Robinson a heartwarming letter in 1949 after reading a story about him in the Brooklyn Eagle (shown right).
- The Brooklyn Public Library offered classes for women entering or re-entering the workforce including, “Make-up and Hair Design for the Working Woman” and “Capsule Dressing” in 1983 (shown left).
- To demonstrate against unfair sanitation practices, residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant organized a “cleansweep” of their streets, bringing all the uncollected garbage to the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall on September 15, 1962 (shown right).
- Brooklyn Borough Hall had WPA murals which depicted the history of Brooklyn from 1609 to 1898. The project took two years to complete and covered 900 square feet. In 1946, they were torn down (shown left).
- In 1942, the Brooklyn Navy Yard made a call for women to apply for work as mechanics, painters and welders for the first time in their 141-year history. 20,000 women applied. This is a photo of women on their first day of work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, September 14, 1942 (shown right).
- A portion of Long Island University is housed in the former Paramount Theatre. This is a photo of the theatre on January 17, 1955 (shown right).
- Mickey Rooney was born in Brooklyn on September 23, 1920. He began his acting career in his parents’ vaudeville act at 17 months old. He died on April 6, 2014 at the ripe old age of 93. Here, he and Sally Forrest entertain at Loew’s Metropolitan Theatre on October 13, 1951 (shown left).
- Before talkies (early films with dialogue), Midwood was a center of filmmaking and home to the Vitagraph Studio. The studio’s dressing rooms were under construction here in 1926 (shown right).
- In 1914, the Brooklyn Public Library opened the first library in the world devoted exclusively to children in Brownsville. It is now the Stone Avenue branch (shown left).
With credit to Brooklyn Public Library for information and images.
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