Brooklyn Boro

February 20: ON THIS DAY in 1952, Showdown on Sutton arrest

February 20, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle History

ON THIS DAY IN 1927, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Brooklyn residents will celebrate Washington’s birthday Tuesday, Feb. 22 by attending many functions here and in Manhattan. Dances, dinners, commemorative masses, motion pictures, speechmaking, special theatrical performances, a radio address by President [Calvin] Coolidge and the famous annual parade by Brooklyn’s old-time firemen will feature the day. Just so long as one vamp survives, the old Kings County Volunteer Firemen’s Association will continue to hold its annual Washington’s Birthday parade, says Boro President James J. Byrne in announcing plans for Tuesday’s event. Governor [Al] Smith will be in the reviewing stand at Boro Hall when the veteran fire fighters, thinner in ranks but dauntless in spirit, pass by at 11 o’clock. Later the governor will attend William H. Todd’s luncheon to the marchers at the Hotel Bossert. Since the volunteer firemen disbanded in 1869, they have paraded in Brooklyn on Washington’s birthday. Each year, those who view the parade miss a familiar face.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “Admiral Nimitz’ Headquarters, Guam (U.P.) — American marines have captured the main airfield on Iwo Jima, occupied approximately one-third of the island and opened a powerful attack led by tanks and flame throwers against fanatically resisting Japanese, it was disclosed today. In bloody fighting, the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions established a straight east-west line across the island north of the airfield. Then, with a spearhead of tanks, estimated by Tokyo to number 300, the leathernecks charged the entrenched enemy, aerial observers reported. First Admiral Chester W. Nimitz announced capture of the airfield, richest single prize on the eight-square-mile island 750 miles south of Tokyo. A headquarters spokesman later said the fighting continued as bitter as that in any of the battles across the Pacific — from Guadalcanal, to Tarawa, to Saipan. After capturing the airfield, the marines drove across the narrow neck of Iwo and reached the western shore. Consolidating their lines, the marines pivoted on their right flank for the offensive. Automatic riflemen moved ahead with the tanks and flame throwers in the vanguard of the attack against the enemy’s interlocking pillboxes and concrete bunkers.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “North Bergen, N.J. (U.P.) — Towering Al Blozis, professional football star, is missing in action with the infantry in France, his parents said today. Big Al, a second lieutenant, sparked the New York Giants to victories which put them in the world championship playoffs last fall when he returned on a ten-day furlough. Then, coming down from a pre-embarkation camp on a weekend pass, he played a great defensive game at tackle in the championship game on Dec. 17, although the Giants lost to the Green Bay Packers, 14 to 7. Blozis, a six-foot-seven-inch, all-around athlete, who weighed 245 pounds, also holds the world shotput championship for the 16, 12 and eight-pound weights. He knew he was going overseas when he played the last game for the Giants and played an inspired game, stopping the Packer running plays time after time when the Green Bay backs tried his side of the line. Leaving shortly afterward for the battle fronts, he went into action almost immediately and was reported missing as of Feb. 2.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1952, the Eagle reported, “Who ‘fingered’ Willie Sutton? A showdown on a Brooklyn man’s claim that he spotted Willie Sutton for the cops who, in turn, took credit for nabbing the elusive bank robber was imminent today in Manhattan Police Headquarters. Police Commissioner George P. Monaghan hailed the three detectives, boosted in rank as a reward for their good work, into his office and also called in Arnold Schuster, 24-year-old Brooklyn pants salesman who claims he pointed out Willie Sutton to the cops, and Schuster’s attorney, Harold M. Weiss. The showdown was staged shortly after Monaghan and Mayor [Vincent] Impellitteri called off a back-slapping celebration scheduled to have been held in City Hall this morning, at which the Mayor was to have commended the police trio.”


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