Steve Pulls a Brodie
July 23, 1886 - On this day, a Bowery bookie named Steve Brodie jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and survived. This amazing feat earned him instant fame, which he milked for the rest of his life. He opened a saloon/museum and he re-enacted his legendary leap in vaudeville musicals.
Most historians are convinced that Brodie's jump off the Brooklyn Bridge was an elaborate hoax. One theory is that Brodie had a friend toss a dummy off the bridge while he waited to be rescued below. Whatever the case, he firmly established himself as one of America's earliest and greatest urban legends.
Brodie's longest-lasting legacy was the use of his name as a synonym for any wildly dangerous act, as in "Hey, I'm gonna pull a Brodie and jump from the roof into the pool."