Brooklyn Boro

ON THIS DAY IN 1945: It looks real now

August 14, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
on_august_14_1945.jpg

ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “The city’s joy, long pent by tension, fear and disappointment, began to trickle out with the pre-dawn report of Japanese surrender in an increasing flow that promised to become a flood of jubilation as the day went on. Chinatown, whose people have suffered the longest from war, was first to let go. Barely an hour after the 1:49 a.m. Domei flash, they were snake-dancing and shooting off firecrackers and breaking out flags along the narrow winding streets. By 6 a.m. the famous New Year’s papier-mache dragon was being parade on Mott Street and extra police were out … Church bells started to ring in Flatbush and before 4 a.m. there were bonfires in Borough Park and Red Hook … Little boys dashed out on the street in their pajamas and began banging kitchen pots … Mothers called out of the windows to the darkened bedrooms of other mothers who still hadn’t heard … In the Borough Hall section, people pouring out of the subways to their jobs made a rush for papers.”

 ****

ON THIS DAY IN 1868, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Bathers at Coney Island, Fort Hamilton and other points along the shore, should be careful not to venture out far just about this time, as there is reason to believe a shoal of sharks are prowling about the bay. One of these murderous monsters, seven feet in length, was captured yesterday off the pier foot of Barclay Street, North River.

****

ON THIS DAY IN 1848, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “We understand that an earnest petition is to be presented to the mayor of this city, to cause the inspector and attorney to carry into effect the law intended to abate the monstrous nuisance caused by keeping 190 cows on a small space of ground in Johnson Street near Bridge. The inhabitants are much alarmed on account of the danger to their health.”

***

ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “The death of Edith Wharton at 75 removes from the literary scene one of the last of America’s higher craftsmen. A disciple of Henry James, she always retained some of that writer’s fastidious technique, analyzing her characters at length and with a studious respect for the niceties of the English language. But unlike James, an inveterate Anglophile to the end, Mrs. Wharton’s best books dealt with American scenes and people, and particularly with the fate of those who defy the conventions of the class from which they spring … [O]ne could always be certain that a new book by Mrs. Wharton would be a model of style and taste, and that it would maintain, in a day when dots, dashes and journalese have become the norm in fiction, the standards of an austere and painstaking literary technique.”

***

ON THIS DAY IN 1944, the Eagle reported, “Hyannis, Mass. Aug. 14 (U.P.) — Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., 21, a naval aviator and son of the former Ambassador to England, has been killed in the European theater, according to word received today … Young Kennedy had been on active duty as a navy pilot … A brother, Lt. John F. Kennedy, was commander of a PT boat in the navy. He returned to this country recently after having taken part in several hazardous engagements in the Pacific. For 10 days he was listed as missing, but later was rescued from a desolate island.”

***

ON THIS DAY IN 1946, the Eagle reported, “When the history of our era is written, there should be great significance in the contribution made to it by such men as Herbert George Wells, who died yesterday. In his novels H.G. Wells made a valid contribution to the literature of his time. But in his more important writings on human affairs and statecraft his contribution was boundless … His gift of prescience made many of his forecasts come true within the years of his own life … It was his tragedy to live to see his direst prophecies come true in World War II, and to die with the knowledge that they were threatening to come true again more horribly than ever before. For all that, he and his ilk have held a bright light to the uglier aspects of humankind so that none of us can say we didn’t know about it.”

***

THE ATLANTIC CHARTER WAS SIGNED ON THIS DAY IN 1941. The eight-point agreement was signed by then-U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and then-British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill. The charter grew out of a three-day conference aboard ship in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Newfoundland coast, and stated policies and hopes for the future agreed to by the two nations.

****

JOAN BAEZ PERFORMED AT THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT ON THIS DAY IN 1967. The folk singer performed a free concert on the grounds of the monument a day after she’d been denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution because of her opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

****

THE COLOGNE CATHEDRAL WAS COMPLETED ON THIS DAY IN 1880. The largest Gothic church in northern Europe was completed 632 years after rebuilding began in 1248. In fact, there had been a church on its site since 873, but a fire in 1248 made rebuilding necessary. The cathedral was again damaged (by bombing) during World War II.

****

THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT WAS SIGNED ON THIS DAY IN 1935.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which contained provisions for the establishment of a Social Security Board to administer federal old-age and survivors’ insurance in the U.S. By signing the bill into law, Roosevelt fulfilled a 1932 campaign promise.

****

Special thanks to “Chase’s Calendar of Events,” the Brooklyn Public Library and the Associated Press.