Brooklyn Boro

February 18: ON THIS DAY in 1963, City is hit hard by Asian flu

February 18, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle History

ON THIS DAY IN 1861, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The Committee appointed by the Common Council and Board of Supervisors to make arrangements for the reception of the President-elect have proceeded to Albany to join in escorting the party to [New York City]. The Hudson River Railroad Co. have constructed a new car for the exclusive use of Mr. Lincoln and party. It is gotten up in beautiful style, carpeted and ornamented with appropriate designs.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1940, the Eagle reported, “Sturdiest of all his comrades, Commander Robert G. Sumners, 97, of U.S. Grant Post 327, Grand Army of the Republic, today was the new grand marshal of the G.A.R. in Brooklyn. Commander Sumners was one of only two G.A.R. members in Brooklyn who were able to attend an executive meeting and thus succeeded to the two posts in that historic and rapidly vanishing organization which were held by Commander John A. Morrison, who died Feb. 3 at 91. The second veteran is Commander Henry Stamm, 93, of Rankin Post 10, who has been named chairman of the memorial and executive committee, at whose home at 1879 Palmetto St. the executive meeting was held on Lincoln’s Birthday. Commander Sumners, who lives at 36 Herkimer St., was the only one of ten invited to the Stamm home who could be present. The others all said they could not attend because of old age, illness or the severity of winter weather.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1943, the Eagle reported, “Dolph Camilli, slugging first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, announced today he had decided definitely to quit baseball. Camilli, 34, and the father of five children, said he was considering the possibility of entering the Ferry Command Service as a pilot. Camilli said Branch Rickey, new general manager of the Dodgers, was due in San Francisco today or tomorrow ‘and I guess he will want to see me. But no matter what he says, I won’t go back to baseball … Of course, I still love the game but with conditions the way they are, I can’t see my way clear to play anymore.’ Camilli is an amateur airplane pilot and flew for several years until recently when he sold his plane. He felt his experience might qualify him for training for the Ferry Service.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “U.S. Pacific Fleet Headquarters, Guam (U.P.) — Admiral Chester W. Nimitz announced today that a powerful American battle fleet has carried the bombardment of Iwo Island into a third day, and Tokyo claimed American troops have begun invading that ‘doorstep’ island to Japan, 750 miles south of the Nipponese capital. A bulletin issued at 10:30 a.m. reported that one ship in a task force of Adm. Raymond A. Spruance’s U.S. 5th Fleet was damaged by ‘intense’ Jap fire from Iwo, which was being blasted by naval artillery shells or airplane bombs for the 74th consecutive day. Carrier planes of the attacking force strafed the Bonin Islands of Chichi and Haha north of Iwo, damaging five grounded planes and 18 small ships and exploding an ammunition barge.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “New York is threatened with an Asian Flu epidemic, the City Health Department [said] yesterday. A department spokesman said that the outbreak of Asian Flu was likely to reach epidemic proportions soon and that the city was expected to be in the grip of the illness until mid-March. Several persons have already died of Asian Flu in the city, he said, and the ailment has played a role in the deaths of a number of others. The first certified case of Asian Flu in the city was reported by the department in mid-January. The disease has already reached epidemic proportions in some cities. Federal health officials reported that influenza and pneumonia deaths rose sharply last week as the flu bug spread to at least 13 states. Hardest hit were the middle and south Atlantic states. The federal Communicable Disease Center at Atlanta said 705 influenza or pneumonia deaths were reported in 108 key cities — about 20 percent above expectations.”


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