Brooklyn Boro

September 3: ON THIS DAY in 1925, 15 perish as Shenandoah crashes

September 3, 2019 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1888, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Paris, Aug. 13 — The Tour d’Eiffel will be a beauty as well as a wonder. Its form is that of an airy, graceful pyramid and it has not a colossal aspect. It is like the Venus de Medicis, so perfectly proportioned that it seems small for its actual size. With the abominable weather we are now having, nothing is discernible from its summit, which has now reached about three hundred and sixty feet. The heights of St. Germain are visible from the second platform. From 1,000 feet, on a clear day, one will be able to see the hills that surround Rome, and on the very clearest day, the mountains of the Cote d’Or.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1902, the Eagle reported, “Lenox, Mass. — A terrible accident overtook President [Theodore] Roosevelt’s coach, a short distance from Pittsfield, about 10 o’clock this morning. After a short visit to the home of ex-Senator Dawes, the president started on the long drive to Lenox. He had not gone far when an electric car ran into the coach, throwing everyone to the ground and badly damaging the vehicle. The president received a cut on the head and Governor Crane was bruised. William Craig, the secret service man, was instantly killed. The president was able to resume his journey to Lenox, but sent word ahead that there should be no cheering.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1925, the Eagle reported, “Caldwell, Ohio (A.P.) — The giant dirigible Shenandoah crashed to its doom in three pieces here early today and killed its commander, Lieutenant Commander Zachary Lansdowne, and at least 14 of the officers and men who made up its crew. The airship struck a line squall — a variety of storm most feared by airmen — shortly after 5 o’clock this morning near this Noble County village, while traveling at an altitude of 3,000 feet en route from Lakehurst, N.J., to the west. The Navy Department was informed that the Shenandoah was ‘struck by lightning’ at 5:35 o’clock this morning. The message indicated the information had been obtained from Army aviators who had gone to the scene of the disaster. There was no explosion. The big ship simply met winds of a strength which it was unable to combat. After encountering the storm at the high altitude, the ship headed heavenward at an altitude of approximately 5,000 feet, when it suddenly came down again and broke into three pieces.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1930, the Eagle reported, “Further mystery was thrown over the disappearance of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Force Crater when it was reported that he had been seen about a week and a half ago by employees of the apartment house at 40 5th Ave., Manhattan, where he had an apartment. Although it was previously reported that Judge Crater had dropped out of sight on Aug. 6 or Aug. 7, apartment house attaches said that in the intervals he came to his apartment on the fourth floor of the house while his private chauffeur waited below. The chauffeur told the doorman that he was going to drive the justice to Maine, where Mrs. Crater had been since early June. At the same time, employees said that since the justice’s last visit, a man whom they believed to be his representative has called every day or so to collect the judge’s mail. At the former law office of the jurist, 120 Broadway, where he was a partner of Senator Robert F. Wagner, it was said that no one had been deputized to collect Justice Crater’s mail.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1947, the Eagle reported, “Papeete, Tahiti (U.P.) — Capt. Thor Heyerdahl said today that the 101-day, 2,000-mile voyage he and other Norwegian scientists made aboard a huge raft from Peru to a South Pacific island strengthened his theory that Pacific natives are descendants of South and North American Indians. ‘Our voyage has proved the practicability of communication between America and Polynesia by means of such craft as the prehistoric Peruvian balsa rafts of the Incas,’ he said … He and his companions appeared healthy and actually radiant in contrast to the weather-beaten raft, the Kontiki.”


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