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August 20: ON THIS DAY in 1953, Russian H-bomb stirs new arms race

August 20, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Eagle file photo
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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “Washington, Aug. 20 (UP) – Official confirmation that Russia has exploded an H-bomb today swept the world into a deadly new lap of the atomic arms race and brought Congressional demands for stepped up U.S. defenses. Chairman Lewis L. Strauss of the Atomic Energy Commission announced shortly after midnight that the United States detected an atomic explosion in Russia on Aug. 12 … Strauss made it clear that the United States was far ahead of Russia in developing the awesome H-bomb, which may release up to 1,000 times as much destructive force as an atomic bomb.”

The Eagle also reported, “Bloomington, Ind., Aug. 20 (UP) — Prof. Alfred C. Kinsey, the sex scientist, today disclosed his long-awaited findings on the sexual behavior of American women. He and three associates scientifically questioned 5,940 women and found their sexual powers to be equal to those of men. However, moral and social pressures and the woman-ignorance of most men frequently prevent full realization.” A sidebar featured the reactions of a number of Hollywood actresses to the report. Zsa Zsa Gabor “cabled her reaction to the book from Paris, saying: ‘Shame on Dr. Kinsey. He should have talked to me and gotten the truth.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1907, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “In conjunction with the Talmud Torah and Sunday School, the Congregation Baith Israel, Harrison Street, corner Tompkins Place, will hold its annual picnic next Sunday afternoon and evening at Ulmer Park Casino. The demand for tickets has been unusually large, and if the attendance at previous picnics of Baith Israel can be used as a criterion, the capacity of the casino will be taxed. The proceeds of the picnic will be used to help defray the large expense which is now being incurred to complete renovation of and alterations in the synagogue.” That synagogue would later become Baith Israel Anshei Emes, to reflect the merger of the two congregations. And Harrison would be renamed Kane Street in 1928. This house of worship is familiarly called the Kane Street Synagogue.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond


ON THIS DAY IN 1853, the Eagle reported, “The special correspondent of the Herald writes that President [Franklin] Pierce is determined to leave the subject of the proposed railroad to the Pacific an open question for settlement by Congress, the different State Legislatures, and the people. In his message to Congress next December he will merely give the result of the labors of the different exploring expeditions as far as known, without advocating any particular route or even the road itself.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1868, the Eagle reported, “Horace Greeley, crowded out of the Tribune by large cut advertisements, goes over to the Independent and makes a frantic appeal to ‘Men and Brethren’ to carry New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey for Grant and Colfax. M. and B. are so accustomed to Greeley’s personal and pathetic addresses that they long since ceased to be startled by them.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1920, the Eagle reported, “As a result of the fatal accident to Ray Chapman, shortstop of the Cleveland Indians, an agitation has been started for the wearing of headguards by baseball players on taking their turn at the bat in order to safeguard against a repetition of the Chapman accident. If both major leagues adopt such a headgear, the baseball players will certainly rival their brethren on the gridiron. A noseguard might be included and then we would have the full football apparel on the ball field. Improvement in baseball equipment has been going on for the past 15 or 20 years. In the olden days, gloves were unheard of and when they were introduced they were laughed at.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1936, the Eagle reported, “’I’ll never be happy again. It broke my heart.’ Those were the first words Eleanor Holm Jarrett uttered today to ship news reporters who scrambled aboard the incoming Bremen from the revenue cutter. The Brooklyn girl, who didn’t swim in the Olympics because she drank champagne, didn’t think her crime so terrible, in fact didn’t think she had committed a crime at all. She felt she had been made the goat by the American Olympics Committee which lost control of the American athletes on the way across the Atlantic and took it out on her. ‘They’re a law within themselves,’ she said of the Olympic committee … When someone asked was she glad to be home – ‘I should say so.’”

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