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December 4: ON THIS DAY in 1936, British Prime Minister challenges King Edward VIII

December 4, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle

ON THIS DAY IN 1936, the Eagle reported, “London, Dec. 4 (U.P.) — Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin faced a historic session of Parliament today and threw a clear-cut challenge to King Edward VIII to drop his plans to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson or abdicate. There could be no mistaking the meaning of the blunt country squire who heads His Majesty’s Government. Baldwin informed Commons that a morganatic marriage is contrary to English law and any one the King marries automatically becomes Queen. Since the Government has taken an irrevocable stand against Mrs. Simpson becoming queen, the king would have no choice but to give up his throne and empire if he persists in marrying her. There were strong indications that the strong-willed monarch intends to accept the challenge and fight back, carrying the issue to his people and risking losing the dominions which, Baldwin said, are opposed to the marriage. The king has sent Mrs. Simpson into seclusion with friends in France while he faces his crisis alone. It was said on the highest authority that he intends to defy Baldwin, the conservatives, the clergy and the press and form a government headed by the brilliant, erratic Winston Churchill.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1870, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Mr. Greeley’s remains were yesterday visited by nearly as many people as looked upon the face of Abraham Lincoln, when he laid in state in New York. We believe the body of no man since that of the murdered president has been exposed to view in the Metropolitan City Hall, till the form of the journalist who discovered Lincoln as a national candidate was therein exhibited on Tuesday. It is very moderately estimated that 40,000 persons took a last look at Horace Greeley yesterday. Among them were the most distinguished men of these great cities and this great state, and just as important, and to our mind much more touching, were the scores of thousands of the common people who gazed in a tribute of sorrow on the placid, lifeless face of the greatest commoner of our country, during its nearly a century of governmental existence.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “Members of this year’s Yale football team and other guests of honor attending the 17th annual Yale barn party in Nick Roberts’ Old Yale Barn will be received at the ‘Y’ dinner in Montclair tonight before proceeding to the festivities of the evening. The purpose of the dinner will be to give the men who have won their letter in college a chance to meet the Yale alumni who have already made their mark in life beyond New Haven. The football team guests will be led by Capt. Clinton E. Frank, ’38, while the graduate Yale celebrities will have Henry Robinson Luce, ’20, magazine publisher, at the head of their guest list … Malcolm Fisher, ’04, chairman of Yale Athletics, is representing the official side of Yale life, and will be accompanied by Ducky Pond, ’25, and coaches A. Earle (Greasy) Neale, Marshall Wells, Ivan B. Williamson, William Renner and Gerald Ford.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1947, the Eagle reported, “The promulgation of an order throughout 23 public schools in districts 41 and 42, prohibiting the singing of Christmas carols making reference to the Nativity, and putting a ban on all Christmas holiday celebrations having ‘religious significance,’ was condemned today as ‘an insult to Christians’ by Matthew F. Kennedy, chairman of the Catholic Affairs Committee of the New York State Council, Knights of Columbus. The order, issued by Assistant Superintendent Isaac Bildersee, in charge of school districts 41 and 42, states, in part: ‘Christmas, and other similar occasions, may be celebrated only as seasonal, pre-vacation occurrences. There must not be any reference in dramatizations, songs, or other aspects of the occasion, to any religious significance involved. Christmas carols with reference to the Nativity may not be sung, nor may decorations include religious symbols of any faith.’”

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