Brooklyn Boro

May 30: ON THIS DAY in 1942, 15,000 march in Memorial Day parade

May 30, 2019 Brooklyn Eagle

ON THIS DAY IN 1854, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reprinted an article from the Italian newspaper Galignani, which stated, “REMARKABLE DISCOVERY. A curious experiment was on Thursday afternoon in the basin of a garden of the Palais Royal, Paris, in the presence of a numerous crowd of spectators. A glass globe, containing certain liquid, was thrown into the water and then broke by means of a pole. The liquid immediately spread itself over the surface of the water and inflamed, and continued to burn with an intense flame for fifty-six seconds, throwing out a thick smoke. The basin looked as if it was all on fire. The discoverers have succeeded in discovering a liquid, which is not costly, and which takes fire spontaneously in contact with water, as proved by the above experiment. Another experiment was made some days before on the Seine, near the Pont de Grenelle, and completely succeeded, notwithstanding a high wind and the agitation of the water. On that occasion the flames burnt for more than a minute. The importance of such a discovery, in the hands of those who attack or defend a place, and particularly in naval combat, may be readily conceived.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1898, the Eagle reported, “Perhaps never before was Decoration Day celebrated in Brooklyn with the same deep feeling that characterized today’s ceremonies. The thought that the old flag under which the veterans fought and their comrades fell in the Civil War was the same as the one which is today borne aloft by their sons at the front, aroused that brand of enthusiasm which is not easily kindled in the breasts of Americans by martial music and ordinary times. So, all over the city where the veterans marched, they and their wives, mothers and children not only recalled the battles of ’61, but also Dewey’s victory at Manila and the recent engagement at Cardenas.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1920, the Eagle reported, “The unveiling of the Fort Hamilton Memorial Monument, scheduled for tomorrow, will have to be put off, perhaps until July 4, because a strike of Rhode Island stonecutters has prevented delivery of the granite and stone needed for the monument, according to the latest announcement by John J. Darragh, a member of the committee. The residents of the section who contributed the needed funds for the commemoration of those who gave their lives in the World War were informed some time ago that when the design by J. Sarsfield Kennedy had been submitted by Park Commissioner [John] Harman to the Municipal Art Commission, the latter body disapproved of the design, but gave no reason for the decision. It was stated that the stone had been ordered and expenses aggregating $5,500 incurred toward erecting the shaft on the chosen site at the junction of 4th and 5th Aves., when the Art Commission failed to wax enthusiastic over the design. The work was held up for the time being and Mr. Darragh declared yesterday that some change had been made and that the Art Commission had subsequently given its entire approval … ‘The only thing holding us back now is the strike,’ said Mr. Darragh.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1942, the Eagle reported, “Soldiers, sailors and marines of the present war marched with the veterans of the first World War and the Spanish-American War today in Brooklyn’s annual Memorial Day parade. Leading them as grand marshal was Robert G. Summers, 99-year-old Civil War veteran. There were at least 15,000 persons in the line of march of the borough’s first wartime Memorial Day parade since 1918. The added significance lent the observances by the presence of men from the country’s present armed forces was also shown in other local rites. Many organizations utilized the day to dedicate community service flags. The main parade with its soldiers, sailors, veterans and members of affiliated organizations, started at Lafayette and Bedford Aves., headed south along the latter to Eastern Parkway and thence to the official reviewing stand opposite the Brooklyn Museum. The parade marked the 76th anniversary of Brooklyn’s Grand Army of the Republic, and for Grand Marshal Summers, who will be 100 years old Nov. 17, it was the third at which he has officiated.”

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