March 14: ON THIS DAY in 1939, Hitler splits Czechoslovakia
ON THIS DAY IN 1849, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “A spirit street lamp, which has recently been introduced from London by Mr. Baldwin of this city, was exhibited last evening at the corner of Fulton and Court streets. It gives a brilliant light, and is intended to be used in those streets not lighted by either of the gas companies. One pint of the burning fluid is warranted to last twenty four hours, and the expense of such lamps is much below that of the present oil lamps. A commendable feature is that the present lanterns can at little expense be adapted to receive these lamps. It is proposed to use them when the existing city contract for oil expires on the 1st of May next.”
ON THIS DAY IN 1901, the Eagle reported from Indianapolis, “No sooner was the news of the death of ex-President [Benjamin] Harrison flashed to the world than the messages of inquiry which had been pouring in for several days changed to messages of sympathy and condolence. They came from every section of the country and throughout the morning there was a steady line of messenger boys to the Harrison home in Delaware Street. Many of these telegrams were of such an intimate personal nature that Mrs. Harrison felt they should not be given to the public. Besides messages from former President [Grover] Cleveland, twice the rival of General Harrison for the presidency, words of sympathy came from Chief Justice [Melville] Fuller, Justice [John Marshall] Harlan and Justice [Joseph] McKenna of the Supreme Court, and all the remaining members of General Harrison’s cabinet … The first message received this morning was from President [William] McKinley. It reads as follows: ‘Mrs. Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Ind.: In the death of General Harrison the country has lost a distinguished statesman, a devoted patriot and an exemplary citizen.’” Harrison, the 23rd president, served from 1889-1893 and was the grandson of the ninth president, William Henry Harrison. During his first year in office, he became the first president to have his voice recorded.
ON THIS DAY IN 1939, the Eagle reported, “Bratislava, Slovakia, March 14 (U.P.) – Slovakia proclaimed its independence of Czechoslovakia and Josef Tiso was named president and premier of a new republic of Slovakia at a German-sponsored meeting of the Slovak Parliament today. Prof. Albert Tuka, veteran Separatist leader, was named foreign minister. Thus the post-war Republic of Czechoslovakia collapsed under the military threat of Nazi Germany’s ‘march to the east.’ The Central Czechoslovak Cabinet at Prague, bowing to Hitler’s ultimatum, resigned and announced the dissolution of the Czechoslovakian state. As the new republic was proclaimed, Hungarian troops battled their way into Czechoslovakia and the government sent an ultimatum to Prague demanding within 24 hours withdrawal of Czech troops from Carpatho-Ukraine. The Hungarian troops, it was officially said in Budapest, had marched into Carpatho-Ukraine on a 15-mile front … German troops, massed near the border, were expected to cross into Czech territory at any time.”
ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “Caracas, Venezuela, March 13 (U.P.) – The United States won an overwhelming victory at the 10th Inter-American Conference today when its anti-Communist resolution was adopted, 17 to 1. Only Guatemala, whose foreign minister repeatedly has told the conference that his country was not Communist, voted against the declaration which warned international Communists against trying to invade the Western Hemisphere. Mexico and Argentina abstained on the vote for the resolution proposed by U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. The American victory had been foreseen in the preliminary vote on the paragraph-by-paragraph review of the resolution. In that vote, as in the final vote, 17 of the member states lined up against Guatemala. Mexico and Argentina also abstained. Dulles made a final appeal to the conference, before the vote, to unite in a warning to ‘evil and menacing’ Communism to stay out of the Americas. He told the conference, shortly before he left for Washington by plane, that he would like to take home full support for a ‘declaration of Caracas’ warning the Reds to keep their hands off the Western Hemisphere.”
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