Brooklyn Boro

October 15: ON THIS DAY in 1953, China PWs defy brainwash

October 15, 2019 Brooklyn Eagle History

ON THIS DAY IN 1860, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “There was another great rush to the ferries on Saturday night, for the purpose of witnessing the display in honor of the Prince of Wales. Many thousands crossed in the early part of the evening, and the jam on the return, from ten o’clock to midnight, was tremendous. The bridge on this side of the Fulton Ferry having been completed on Saturday morning, the crowd was transferred to Brooklyn with greater expedition than on other similar occasions recently. No accidents occurred, but a number of pockets were picked.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1917, the Eagle reported, “Paris, October 15 — Mata Hari, the Dutch dancer and adventuress, who two months ago was found guilty by a court-martial on the charge of espionage, was shot at dawn this morning. Mlle. Mata-Hari, long known in Europe as a woman of great attractiveness and with a romantic history, was according to unofficial press dispatches accused of conveying to the Germans the secret of the construction of the Entente ‘tanks,’ this resulting in the enemy rushing work on a special gas to combat their operations.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1939, the Eagle reported, “London, Oct. 14 (U.P.) — Streams of ‘refugees’ kept trickling back to the slums of London and other big cities of Great Britain today in a ‘revolt’ against country life. They are part, although only a small part, of the mass migration of more than 1,300,000 women, children and invalids to the countryside at the outbreak of war. They were glad to be back, no matter how squalid their homes. Many insisted on returning despite repeated warnings of the peril of air raids. Their numbers included children who had never known anything but margarine. They objected to the taste of fresh country butter. They found bulls far more terrifying than city traffic or bombs. They were accustomed to fish, chips and beer for ‘supper’ and found fresh eggs and milk strange to their palate.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “Panmunjom (U.P.) — Heavily armed Indian guards today forced anti-Red Chinese sitdown strikers to attend the first Communist lectures, but the prisoners rejected repatriation in overwhelming numbers. For seven hours the violently anti-Communist war prisoners of the Allies refused to leave their compounds. They came out quietly when they were told their Indian guards would use force if necessary. The Indians, carrying rifles and swinging nightsticks, herded the first group of 22,418 prisoners into the miniature tent city built by American engineers on an around-the-clock schedule. Only 10 of the 500 Chinese interviewed by Communist political officers today decided to return to Red rule. The others held firm to their anti-Communist stand. The first day of “counter-brainwashing” ended at 6:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Brooklyn time). The 10 who accepted repatriation were turned over to the Reds. The neutral nations repatriation commission said 1,000 North Koreans will be interviewed by Communist ‘explainers’ tomorrow … The dismal failure of the Communists in their first attempt to lure the prisoners back to Red rule had been forecast by the defiant behavior of the men … ‘Father Mao (Chinese dictator Mao Tse-tung) wants you back,’ a Red brainwasher told the prisoners. Most of the prisoners screamed that the Communists knew what they could do with ‘Father Mao.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle also reported, “Stockholm (U.P.) — The coveted Nobel prize for literature today was awarded to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who is credited with ‘mobilizing’ the English language during World War II. It was an open secret that the 78-year-old Churchill, who has dedicated his remaining years to the cause of world peace, would have preferred the Nobel peace prize. But he was genuinely moved, friends said, when informed of his selection for the world’s highest literary distinction. Churchill’s choice by the Swedish Academy of Literature, over such contenders as America’s Ernest Hemingway, is worth $33,840 in prize money. The designation was made a month earlier than usual to enable Churchill to come to Stockholm in person to receive the prize from King Gustav Adolf on Dec. 10. Churchill, the first active statesman to be chosen for the award, received the prize for his war memoirs, ‘The Second World War.’”

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