Brooklyn Boro

December 18: ON THIS DAY in 1942, U.S. halts gas sales to all private cars

December 18, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle

ON THIS DAY IN 1942, the Eagle reported, “Expect to see New York’s streets turn, overnight, into motorless highways and New York’s subways, buses [and] trolley cars constantly jammed with crowds such as they have never known before. Gasoline rationing, it was predicted, would bring the city subways a traffic rush-hour almost every hour of the night and day. As the rationing order goes into effect it was estimated 500,000 automobiles, or 70 percent of motor vehicles still in use, will be forced off the city’s streets, with ‘T’-coupon trucks, delivery wagons and taxicabs alone remaining. It will be the age of the pedestrian again – the pedestrian and subway rider.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1849, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “On Sunday evening last, about nine o’clock, the entire ceiling, including some heavy plaster moulding, of the Henry Street Dutch Reformed Church (Rev. Dr. Bethune’s) gave way and fell with a tremendous crash into the area of the building, greatly damaging the elegant seating of the church. Had the congregation been assembled, the loss of life must have been great. The accident it is supposed has been caused by the influence of the frost.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1927, the Eagle reported, “Six hundred voices are expected to join in the singing of Christmas carols next Saturday, Dec. 24, in the Community Christmas exercises to be held under the auspices of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce at Boro Hall. The chorus, which thus definitely keeps alive the ancient tradition of the Christmas carol, is believed to be the largest that has appeared in any outdoor celebration in Brooklyn. Singing societies throughout the boro and glee clubs and choral groups from high schools and business concerns form the nucleus of the group which will appear on the steps of Boro Hall at noon on the day preceding Christmas.”


It was also reported, “There is something new under the sun after all. So new, in fact, that it hasn’t even been glimpsed as yet in the Northern Hemisphere. But tonight is the night! Weather permitting, Brooklynites and residents of the other four boros will be privileged to be among the first in this hemisphere to behold flaming in the western sky the comet discovered only a week or two ago by the astronomer [John Francis] Skjellerup in Australia … Nightly it will mount higher and higher above the horizon, and like the famed star of Bethlehem will attain its greatest brilliancy Christmas night. After that it will diminish in glory and decline to the third or fourth magnitude by Jan. 1.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1932, the Eagle reported, “Chicago, Dec. 17 (AP) – Under the same roof where boxing champions win or lose their crowns, Chicago’s Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans will battle for the national professional football title tomorrow night. Deadlocked for first place after a campaign on the gridirons out in the open, the two elevens move their final championship battle into the Chicago Stadium to escape the wintry blasts of snow and zero temperature. A capacity crowd was expected to attend.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “The name of the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been changed again in the interest of ‘better efficiency.’ The new name, ordered in a telegram from Washington, is: ‘The New York Naval Shipyard, Naval Base Station, Brooklyn 1, N.Y.’ Seven Brooklynites picked at random and as many Manhattan men-in-the-street, asked for directions to the New York Naval Shipyard, Naval Base Station, Brooklyn 1, N.Y., responded in unison: ‘I don’t know, Bud, but why don’t you go over to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. They ought to know.’ At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, actually, they were too busy to answer. They were too busy putting up new signs, with the new name. The most recent official name had been the United States Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn. And before that the official name was the New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn … What the new official name of the Brooklyn Navy Yard will be this afternoon was not known at the time this edition went to press.”

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