Brooklyn Boro

March 13: ON THIS DAY in 1928, 400 feared dead as dam collapses

March 13, 2019 Brooklyn Eagle

ON THIS DAY IN 1851, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reprinted the following article from the Boston Transcript: “A Newspaper Printed in Gold. – We are indebted to Mr. Simmons, of Oak Hall, who has just returned from a business visit to California, for a look at a copy of the Alta Californian, printed in gold, and designed for the Great Exhibition in London. The paper is white satin, printed on both sides, with some preparation of the real dust, so as to exhibit a gold face, and rendering the paper a more emphatic illustration of the character and productions of El Dorado.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1888, the Eagle continued its coverage of the Great Blizzard, writing, “Reports received from all parts of the state agree that the storm was the greatest New York has ever witnessed. Coming as it did with the approach of spring, and not having been heralded by those whose business it is to read the weather signs, it naturally caused much more suffering and distress than would have been experienced if people had been in some measure prepared for it. Today all over Brooklyn and New York men are busy trying to cut their way through the snow and restore conditions such as will permit of resuming travel and continuing business, which was practically suspended. Mild as the blizzard was in comparison with some of those which are alleged to devastate the west, it served to show how complete is the conquest of human enterprise by the forces of nature. It brings keenly home to the mind our dependence on all conveniences of travel – horse cars, government bridges, steam roads and other forms of corporation energy which in times of ease we are only too prone to deride.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1928, the Eagle reported, “Los Angeles, March 13 (AP) – More than 100 persons were swept to death early today in San Francisquito Canyon, north of here, when St. Francis dam, impounding part of Los Angeles water supply, burst and unloosed a 75-foot wall of water into the narrow valley. Officials expressed fear that the death toll might reach 400. A telegram received at the sheriff’s office here from Eugene Biscailluz, under sheriff in charge of rescue work, said that 100 bodies had been recovered where the flood waters entered the Santa Paula and Santa Clara rivers. Ten bodies were taken from the canyon this morning and were placed in a morgue at Saugus. What caused the retaining parapet of the great reservoir to give way suddenly was almost as much of a mystery as the number of dead that lay buried beneath the deep covering of yellow sand which now carpets the pretty little valley.”


ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “Edward R. Murrow left it up to his listeners today to decide whether he or Senator Joseph R. McCarthy had lied in their dispute over the American Civil Liberties Union. McCarthy charged that Murrow lied on a television program Tuesday night when he said the Civil Liberties Union never had been listed as subversive. The senator said it had been listed as a ‘Communist Front’ by the California Legislature’s Un-American Activities Committee. Murrow played a recording to show that on the TV show he actually said the group had not been listed as subversive by the Attorney General’s office, the FBI or any other government agency. The A.C.L.U. issued a statement last night saying it regards the California committee’s listing as ‘totally false and despicable in light of A.C.L.U.’s 34-year record of nonpartisan defense of American civil liberties, which has been lauded by President [Dwight D.] Eisenhower, former President [Harry] Truman and Gen. Douglas MacArthur.’”

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