Brooklyn Boro

December 12: ON THIS DAY in 1941, U.S. aviators fight back against Japanese

December 12, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle

ON THIS DAY IN 1941, the Eagle reported, “Manila, Dec. 12 (UP) – Three daredevil American aviators flew to fame – and one to death – today against the Japanese. Terse statements from military and naval sources in Manila told the story of how American and Filipino aviators struck back against powerful enemy assaults. The name of 26-year-old Capt. Colin Kelly Jr. of Florida, who was killed in action, heads the roll of heroes.”

It was also reported, “The metropolitan area went about its normal business today, the people calm and resolute in the face of total Axis warfare, but behind the scenes plans materialized for the evacuation of women and children, the aged and disabled from congested areas in the event of air raids.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1859, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The ship Henrietta, which arrived here on Saturday evening from Leghorn, has on board a very small horse. It is a stallion, of a clear jet black, perfect in shape, with black mane and tail, and is about 7 hands high. During the voyage he has had the run of the ship like any ordinary dog.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1912, the Eagle reported, “’The excellent character of workmanship’ of ship machinery made in the Brooklyn Navy Yard receives high praise from Rear Admiral H.I. Cone, chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering of the Navy Department in his annual report made public today. Admiral Cone reports that the speed of the Florida, whose machinery was built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, upon her official trials, ‘exceeded that of her sister ship, the Utah, which was built by contract and from the same plans.’ He says the construction of this machinery has demonstrated further the fact that a well-equipped Navy yard can build machinery at a cost that compares favorably with the cost of similar machinery built by contract. The Brooklyn Navy Yard led all competitors in battleship construction last month, advancing the new New York 3.2 percent toward completion, so that she now stands 65.7 finished.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1920, the Eagle reported, “South Bend, Ind., Dec. 11 – The condition of George Gipp, Notre Dame football player, suffering from a throat infection, remained unchanged today, according to hospital authorities. Gipp rallied yesterday, but still is said to be in critical condition.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1946, the Eagle reported, “With an approximate 42 percent increase in dollar volume over last year’s Christmas sales, officials of three downtown department stores agreed today that ‘we are doing better than Manhattan stores.’ The present pre-Yule buying boom got underway the first week of December, when customers mobbed the stores, fearing that supplies would be limited because of the coal strike, according to a survey among buyers conducted by the Brooklyn Eagle. Along with a run on luxury and non-essential buying, customers this year were intent on buying hundreds of items available in limited quantities for the first time in five years.

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “Despite strong objections from Bay Ridge residents, ‘there’s going to be a bridge pretty soon’ across the Narrows, from Brooklyn to Staten Island, City Construction Coordinator Robert Moses has flatly declared. In an interview, he made it clear the long bridge-or-tunnel controversy was over – and the bridge proponents won. It will be, he said, a $260,000,000 beauty, biggest and most expensive bridge in the world, swinging 243 feet above water level – ‘the bridge of my dreams.’ ‘We’re about to make an announcement’ on the subject, the fabulous park-and-road-and-bridge builder said, indicating that he would soon make known a ready-to-go Narrows bridge ‘package.’ … Brooklyn starting point for the span would be in the Fort Hamilton Military Reservation, thus saving many homes. Bay Ridge residents, haunted by the fear the proposed bridge would uproot many in the desirable residential community and send a flood of traffic cascading through their streets, heard these somewhat reassuring words: ‘We want to avoid uprooting families,’ Mr. Moses said.”