Brooklyn Boro

March 11: ON THIS DAY in 1938, Germany invades Austria

March 11, 2019 Brooklyn Eagle
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ON THIS DAY IN 1846, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Williamsburgh. – It is stated that our neighbors of this pretty village intend soon to call a convention of the people, to amend their charter so that the village may be created into a city, divided into wards, and power given to the citizens to elect aldermen and assistants, and other ward officers, the same as in New York and Brooklyn. By the last census the population of the village exceeded 12,000 souls. It is also said that the question of separating from the State of New York, and erecting Long Island into a separate state, will be brought under the consideration of the convention.”

It was also reported, “Mrs. Ann Gourlay, aged 99, breathed her last on Friday, in Charleston, S.C. It is stated by the Charleston papers that this ancient lady has been a widow for half a century, and has outlived all her children and grandchildren except one. In early life she had, at a ball in Maryland, her native state, danced with Gen. Washington; and, perhaps, was the last female in the United States who could claim this honor.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1862, the Eagle reported, “The pilot on board the Cumberland (Mr. A.B. Smith) has furnished interesting particulars of the fight at Hampden Roads. We publish as much of his statement as illustrates the powers of the formidable Merrimac: ‘The Monitor came in Saturday night, and proceeded up past the Minnesota. The rebel steamers Jamestown and Yorktown were not iron plated, or at any rate, only partially so. They came down in the daylight, making for the Minnesota, but to their surprise found the Monitor ready to receive them. On Sunday morning the Monitor moved close up to the Merrimac and, side by side, engaged her for four hours and twenty minutes. Once the Merrimac dashed her iron prow squarely against the Monitor, but did not injure that vessel in the least. The Monitor in turn determined to try her force in a similar operation, but in some unaccountable manner the wheel or other steering apparatus became entangled, it is said, and the Monitor rushed by, just missing her aim. Captain [John] Worden is confident that he put three shots through the hull of his antagonist – probably through the ports.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1929, the Eagle reported, “The first steps toward the construction of the tri-boro bridge, linking Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx, and the building of the Narrows tunnel connecting Brooklyn with Staten Island, were taken today by the Board of Estimate, sitting as the Committee of the Whole. By a resolution introduced by Mayor [Jimmy] Walker and adopted unanimously by the board, the controller was authorized to issue corporate stock or serial bonds to finance the two projects, which will be operated on a toll basis. These two projects are two of the most important on the traffic program of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce … Boro President Byrne of Brooklyn suggested that when work is started on the bridge and tunnel, work also be started on a boulevard traversing Brooklyn and Queens and linking the two projects. To this suggestion, Mayor Walker replied, ‘I think that will be done.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1938, the Eagle reported, “Vienna, March 11 (AP) – The government announced tonight that the plebiscite on Austria’s independence had been postponed. The announcement followed reports that German and Austria’s Nazis had exerted powerful pressure to avert the referendum which Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg had called for Sunday. It came as Austria was assuming the aspect of an armed camp, with clashes in many cities between Nazis and Fatherland Front supporters of Schuschnigg’s fight for independence. Arthur Seysz-Inquart, Austrian minister of the interior and close friend of Germany’s Reichsfuehrer Hitler, was reported to have presented a demand, ‘like an ultimatum,’ for cancellation or postponement of the referendum. No new date was set for the plebiscite. The postponement meant Schuschnigg had bowed to Hitler.”


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