Brooklyn Boro

February 5: ON THIS DAY in 1937, F.D.R. tells Congress to revamp Supreme Court

February 5, 2019 Meaghan McGoldrick
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ON THIS DAY IN 1847, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle published the following advertisement: “Relief for Ireland — The recent accounts by the steamer Hibernia from this ill-fated country of famine, destitution, starvation and death, call loudly to the charitable and humane in this city for some means of relief being extended to millions of our unhappy fellow beings across the Atlantic. A general meeting, without regard to sect, party or creed, will be held in Hall’s Exchange Buildings, corner of Cranberry and Fulton [streets] on Friday evening, Feb. 5th, at 7 1/2 o’clock, to devise some means of averting the great calamity with which Providence has seen fit to visit Ireland. Several eminent speakers will address the meeting.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1861, the Eagle reported, “Very great liberties have been taken with those slippery and debatable fields of adventure, the ice ponds, in these latter days, such as trots by horses, heats on skates, boats on runners, propelled by canvas wings, beating up in the eye of the wind, a sort of snap-apple scrimmage after a bottle of whiskey or old cognac — once set agoing gaining impetus from every attempt of the skaters to snatch it up – curling and what not — but the ‘something new under the sun’ fell to the luck of Brooklyn to accomplish, and yesterday the hazardous feat of playing a match of base ball upon skates was accomplished by the Atlantic and Charter Oak Base Ball Clubs. What next?”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “Washington, Feb. 5 (AP) — Retirement privileges for Supreme Court justices recommended to Congress today by President [Franklin] Roosevelt would affect six of the present nine members of the Supreme Bench. These justices are over 70 and have served ten years on the Federal Bench: Chief Justice Hughes and Justices Van Devanter, McReynolds, Sutherland, Butler and Brandeis. Of the six, Van Devanter, McReynolds, Sutherland and Butler are regarded by some lawyers as the conservative wing of the high court, while Brandeis is considered by them to belong to the so-called liberal group. Should the president’s recommendations be enacted into law and the six justices retire, Justices Stone, Cardozo and Roberts would be left on the bench. Of the three, Stone and Cardozo have come to be known as the liberals by some attorneys. Roberts sometimes has sided with them on important constitutional questions and sometimes with the so-called conservative group.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “St. Moritz, Feb. 5 (U.P.) — Pigtailed Gretchen Fraser of Vancouver, Wash., brought the U.S. its first individual skiing championship in the history of the Olympic Games today, when official results gave her first place in the women’s slalom. The 28-year-old housewife had a first run of 59.7 seconds and a second run of 57.7 seconds on the treacherous zig-zagging ice-slicked course. Mrs. Fraser had placed second yesterday in the Alpine combined skiing event — a combination of a downhill and a slalom — to give the U.S. its first skiing medal of any kind in the history of the Olympics. But her performance today topped that. With re-ribboned pigtails flying in the cold wind, the little, 113-pound lass beat the woman considered her most dangerous rival, Erika Mahringer of Austria. Miss Mahringer was seven-tenths of a second slower than Mrs. Fraser today.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “Striking tugboat workers rushed picket reinforcements to Brooklyn today in an attempt to assure the complete paralysis of the world’s largest port ordered by Joseph P. Ryan, president of the International Longshoremen’s Association. Despite the efforts of insurgent union members who challenged Ryan’s manifesto, operations on the waterfront, except in Brooklyn, chugged to a halt by noon, with all piers in Staten Island and Manhattan (except Pier 51 at W. 11th St.) shut down. In Brooklyn, sparse picket lines were ignored by gangs of longshoremen who trickled back to the piers after the 7:55 a.m. shapeup whistle blew. Indications were, however, that the reinforced tug workers’ picket lines would be respected by the 1 p.m. shapeup and that the complete port tieup would be effective by late today.”


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