Brooklyn Boro

June 10: ON THIS DAY in 1940, Italy in war

June 10, 2019 Brooklyn Eagle

ON THIS DAY IN 1922, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The stage is set for the first serious attempt to salvage the fortune in jewels, bullion and express freight which went down on the Cunard liner Lusitania seven years ago when a U-boat potted her off the hoary old head of Kinsale, on the Irish coast. At the local offices of the Cunard Line today it was stated the depth of the water in which she lies had already been sounded. An official of the company added that the Cunard Line had no interest in the venture other than a large curiosity, which is shared by the rest of the world. A little band of 1922 adventurers are making the expedition to the bottom of the sea entirely ‘on their own.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1939, the Eagle reported, “Men, women and children in holiday mood filled every vantage point overlooking New York Harbor and along West St. and the West Side Express Highway from the Battery to Central Park today to give Their Majesties, King George and Queen Elizabeth, a typical New York welcome. An estimated 2,000,000 gathered along Shore Road and Brooklyn Heights to witness the triumphal water procession. Thousands of spectators clad in summery finery lined West St. on both sides of the curb, cheering, waving flags and shouting greetings as they waited in gay but orderly fashion for the royal motorcade to pass. They stood behind lines of policemen who stood on either side facing the crowd, backs turned to the roadway. Scotch burrs and broad English accents predominated along the line — many of the city’s Scotch-born having turned out to see the little Scotch commoner who grew up to be the Queen of the world’s most far-flung empire. A distinct feeling of kinship with and affection for the smiling lady, who sits on the throne of England, was evident.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1940, the Eagle reported, “Rome, June 10 (AP) — Italy tonight took the plunge into war at the side of Germany. Premier Mussolini made the announcement in a bombastic speech from the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia before a wildly cheering crowd of Fascists. Italy’s declaration of war, Mussolini said, had been handed to the ambassadors of France and England. The fateful step was made after weeks — even months — of hesitation to weld into actual hostilities the ends of the long existent axis between Berlin and Rome. It came as Adolf Hitler’s forces were closing in on France and gravely imperiling Paris itself. Before making his definite announcement of war on the Allies, Mussolini called upon ‘combatants on land, sea and in the air, Blackshirts of the revolution and of the Legion, men and women of Italy, of the Empire and the Kingdom of Albania” to listen. ‘I wish to declare,’ he said, ‘that Italy does not wish to drag into the conflict other people — neighboring and friendly people. The neutrality of these nations will be severely respected.’ He said Italy had tried in vain for peace.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1944, the Eagle reported, “Allied Supreme Headquarters, June 10 (UP) — Allied forces advanced on all fronts on the Norman peninsula, it was officially announced today, and German sources reported that an American armored column had driven to within 10 miles of the prize port of Cherbourg. American forces captured Trevieres, nine miles west of Bayeux, the Allied announcement said. It was the fourth town to be taken by the Americans, who previously had taken Ste. Mere-Eglise, Isigny and Formigny, as well as assisting in the capture of Bayeux. Advancing American patrols in the northern Cherbourg peninsula cut the Carentan-Ste. Mere-Eglise-Valognes road at a number of places, it was announced. The coastal stronghold of Isigny and Ste. Croix had fallen earlier in the Allied drives to link up their beachheads along a front of nearly 60 miles.”

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