Brooklyn Boro

January 2: ON THIS DAY in 1953, Dockers strike paralyzes Brooklyn waterfront

January 2, 2019 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “A strike of three small groups of dockworkers swept over the Brooklyn waterfront today [and] swiftly engulfed most of it. Detectives of the Riverfront Squad reported that ‘several thousand’ longshoremen had stayed off piers servicing some 100 ships. And by midafternoon they expected that 10,000 men would be out. Union delegates, in a similar vein, said the entire borough waterfront would be immobilized. The original strikers – fewer than 500 weighers, scalemen and samplers, all members of the International Longshoremen’s Association, A.F.L., in the city – struck for 42 cents an hour increased pay and welfare benefits. As they placed pickets at piers, their fellow union members stayed away in large droves. The Brooklyn waterfront was only partly closed this morning as pickets in some cases failed to arrive in time to head off the morning shape-up. The men who thus went to work were permitted to continue on the job until the noon lunch hour, but all indicated they would not return in the afternoon.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1902, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Have heard of provincials who never rode on a train and considered the telephone a delusion worthy of Munchausen. These people, however, are metropolitan when compared with some of our Western compatriots. They positively don’t know out there that the football season is over. University of Michigan and Leland Stanford elevens played yesterday at Pasadena, Cal., while here the new year turned such a cold shoulder to us that we dreamed yearningly of purgatorial furnaces. Happy people out there with fifty-two weeks of summer and one day of winter to the year.” The Michigan Wolverines defeated Stanford University 49-0 in the first Rose Bowl Game.

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ON THIS DAY IN 1919, the Eagle reported, “According to a high city official, who would not allow the use of his name because his ideas of the solution of the transit problem in Brooklyn might conflict with Mayor [John] Hylan’s program, no special legislation is needed for the acquisition by the city of the B.R.T. rapid transit lines for municipal operation. He pointed to Section 20, Paragraph 2, of the General City Law of the State, which reads as follows: ‘Every city is empowered to .. acquire by condemnation real and personal property within the limits of the city for any public or municipal purpose.’ Paragraph 5 empowers every city: ‘To become indebted for any public or municipal purpose and to issue therefor obligations of the city.’ Paragraphs 11 and 16 give the city the right ‘to construct and maintain public buildings, public works and public improvements … and to establish and maintain such institutions and instrumentalities for the instruction, enlightenment, improvement … and welfare of its inhabitants as it may deem appropriate or necessary for the public interest or advancement.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1934, the Eagle reported, “Stocks and commodities opened the new year well today, with gains running to moderate proportions all around. In industrial stocks advances ranged to 2 1/2 points, and Chrysler, General Motors and DuPont topped their 1933 highs, while various others, including Allied Chemical, touched their previous peaks. The market turned dull in the afternoon and as activity lessened prices softened a little. There was no pressure, but profit-taking was apparent, many traders preferring to be out of stocks pending the president’s message to Congress tomorrow.

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IT WAS ALSO REPORTED, “Federal Judge Irving Kaufman refused today to change the death sentence which he had meted out to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted atom-spies. ‘I still feel that their crime was worse than murder,’ Kaufman said as he turned down the espionage team’s appeal for judicial clemency. It was learned today that the Rosenbergs’ attorney, Emanuel Bloch, was preparing an application for a stay of execution pending an appeal to President [Harry] Truman for clemency … Judge Kaufman handed down the decision in the Federal Court House on Foley Square where the Rosenbergs and Morton Sobell were convicted in 1951 on charges of transmitting atom bomb secrets to Russia.”


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