September 11: ON THIS DAY in 1945, Tojo shoots himself
ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “Tokyo, Sept. 11 (U.P.) – Gen. Hideki Tojo, the Japanese Premier who ordered the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, shot himself today and in what may be his last words assumed responsibility for the Pacific war. Tojo fired a revolver bullet into his stomach at 4:21 p.m. (3:21 a.m. Brooklyn time) as American military police were demanding entrance to his suburban home to arrest him as Japan’s No. 1 war criminal. Tojo still was alive, but unconscious and in serious condition. The Japanese Domei Agency said death was expected at ‘any time.’ An American doctor at 7:15 p.m. (6:15 a.m. Brooklyn time), however, said, the 61-year-old Tojo had a good chance of survival. He gasped out his admission of responsibility for the Pacific war during a momentary return to consciousness 23 minutes after the shooting. ‘I wanted to die by the sword, but the pistol had to do,’ he said. ‘I assume responsibility for the war. I now realize the war was bad for the people. I am now happy to die. Banzai.’”
It was also reported, “Television today has made its debut in the city’s education system with a special broadcast which spotlighted the Brooklyn Eagle’s pamphlet on the San Francisco Charter. In the broadcast over WCBW, the first of its kind directed to the parents of pupils, Dr. John E. Wade, Superintendent of Schools, last night discussed the educational program for the coming year. He stressed the charter, which he said will be studied intensively with the aid of the Brooklyn Eagle pamphlet, now being made available to students throughout the city. ‘Teaching is being changed for children who are going back to school this Fall in a world of peace,’ Dr. Wade said. ‘Enough emphasis will be placed on science to absorb the coming ‘atomic age,’ but understanding of the greatest basic document of our time, the San Francisco Charter, will be stressed.’”
ON THIS DAY IN 1855, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “We are informed that the distinguished tenor absolute, Signor Rossetti, late Primo Tenor de Bravura of the Royal Italian Opera of San Carlos, in Lisbon, will make his first appearance in America on Thursday evening, the 18th inst. at the Atheneum, corner of Clinton and Atlantic sts., in a grand private concert, for his benefit, which will afford an unusual opportunity to all lovers of good music to pass their judgment upon the talents of a celebrated singer, and whose voice, we are assured, is the most powerful and natural tenor that has ever been heard in the United States.”
ON THIS DAY IN 1905, the Eagle reported, “A switchman’s mistake and a motorman’s carelessness sent a crowded car of a Manhattan elevated train hurtling off the structure into the street at 7 o’clock this morning, smashing the coach into splinters and piling the passengers into a tangled mass of crushed and mangled bodies. Eleven persons were killed and forty injured. Several of the injured are expected to die. It was the worst disaster in the history of the Manhattan elevated railroad. The smashup occurred at Ninth avenue and Fifty-third street, where the Sixth avenue elevated structure curves into and becomes a part of the Ninth. A Ninth avenue local, southbound and running at high speed, struck a misplaced switch at the Fifty-third street curve and the forward car whirled around the bend into the Sixth avenue line. The heavy motor caused the front car to hold the tracks. The second car, crowded to the doors, left the track, its forward trucks bumped over a few ties, hit the heavy guard timbers and clung to the structure. The train’s momentum caused the second and third cars to double up like a closing jackknife. The rear end of the second car was hurled from the tracks and sent like a catapult to the street.”
ON THIS DAY IN 1921, the Eagle reported, “San Francisco, Sept. 10 – Roscoe (“Fatty”) Arbuckle, motion picture actor, is to be ‘held in custody’ pending the outcome of the police investigation into the death of Miss Virginia Rappe, following a party in Arbuckle’s rooms at the St. Francis Hotel here, Acting Captain of Detectives Michael Griffith announced today. Miss Rappe, a Los Angeles motion picture actress, died in a hospital here yesterday. She was stricken while attending a party Monday night in a hotel suite occupied by Arbuckle. An autopsy disclosed Miss Rappe died as the result of congested lungs, superinduced by peritonitis. Her stomach was sent to a chemist for analysis. Reports from Los Angeles said Arbuckle, accompanied by his attorney, left Los Angeles for San Francisco this morning by motorcar. He is quoted as saying he would assist in the investigation. As a result of the party in the hotel, Arbuckle was asked to leave, the hotel management said.”
THE BATTLE OF BRANDYWINE WAS FOUGHT ON THIS DAY IN 1777. It was the largest engagement of the American Revolution, between the Continental Army led by Gen. George Washington and British troops led by Gen. William Howe. Howe was marching to take Philadelphia when Washington chose to try to stop the British advance at the Brandywine River near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The American forces were defeated and the British went on to take Philadelphia on Sept. 26. They spent the winter in the city while Washington’s troops suffered at their encampment in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
THE 1786 ANNAPOLIS CONVENTION WAS HELD ON THIS DAY IN 1786. Twelve delegates from New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia met in Annapolis, Maryland to discuss commercial matters of mutual interest. The delegates voted, on Sept. 14, to adopt a resolution prepared by Alexander Hamilton asking all states to send representatives to a convention in Philadelphia in May 1787 “to render the constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union.”
Special thanks to “Chase’s Calendar of Events” and Brooklyn Public Library.