Brooklyn Boro

May 29: ON THIS DAY in 1905, 20 Russian warships sunk or captured; Japanese fleet unharmed in great naval battle

May 29, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle History

ON THIS DAY IN 1905, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON — It was about 10:30 this morning when the official news of the sweeping victory of Admiral Togo reached Washington. The news created a tremendous sensation. An examination of the list of ships under Admiral Rojestvensky’s command showed that just about half of his fleet was either sunk or captured. Four of his eight battleships are at the bottom of the sea or in possession of the Japanese, five of his nine cruisers are sunk and two-thirds of his coast defense vessels captured. He has lost over 4,000 men on the vessels thus disposed of. ‘Alongside of this catastrophe,’ said Assistant Secretary of the Navy Darling, ‘the little engagement on the south coast of Cuba in 1898 pales into insignificance. Really there is no comparison between the two events. The Santiago fight was merely the effort of a few badly crippled cruisers to run away from a powerful fleet made up of battleships and armored cruisers. The fight yesterday was wholly different. It was the first engagement of modern battleships and the lessons to be learned from it will have an incalculable influence on the naval warfare of the future.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “MONTS, FRANCE (AP) — The Duke of Windsor was reported today to be in a temper and ‘ready to fight’ the decree of his brother-successor which barred Wallis Warfield from the title of ‘Her Royal Highness.’ He was described as ‘mad and sore’ and the source at the Chateau De Cande said it was impossible to predict what action Edward might be contemplating. It is said the former British monarch, who abdicated when Britain refused the Baltimore divorcee as Queen, at first would not believe London dispatches telling of last night’s decision. Convinced finally of their truth, the slim, blond Edward, who will wed Mrs. Warfield at Cande next Tuesday, then declined to consider the decree — or the decision of the British Government behind it — as final. It was indicated he might take action to reopen the question, which he had thought settled in his favor before the Civil Marriage ceremony next week, but the procedure of such a course was not disclosed. How the dark-haired Mrs. Warfield took the decision was not disclosed, but it was reliably said that ‘H.R.H.’ and coronets had been embroidered on some articles of her elaborate trousseau.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1939, the Eagle reported, “Grover Cleveland Bergdoll, World War draft-dodger, said today he had returned to serve his prison term to escape the stigma of ‘a man without a country’ and to become a worthy citizen of a free country. Bergdoll, the former Philadelphia playboy who refused to fight for the United States against Germany, issued a formal statement to clarify his status in the eyes of the American people. He described the suffering he had endured in being separated from his aged mother, his wife and his five children. He said he wanted to take his punishment as a prisoner and therefore had returned to serve out his five-year term. He based his plea for tolerance and understanding on the American epic of Edward Everett Hale, ‘The Man Without a Country.’ Bergdoll is confined in the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Jay, Governor’s Island, to serve out the draft-dodging sentence imposed by an Army Court Martial in 1920. Bergdoll said he had returned to serve his time because he now ‘appreciated what a free country really means.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “A group of more than 100 physicians, who take a scholarly interest in good food, wine and spirits, have given President Kennedy a keg of 46-year-old cognac for his 46th birthday today. The physicians’ Wine Appreciation Society of New York sent the keg Monday for Kennedy’s ‘health and pleasure.’ President Kennedy plans to celebrate his 46th birthday with a quiet dinner party tonight at the White House. The White House said Mrs. Kennedy is giving the dinner for the president and members of the Kennedy family, and would not release details because of ‘family tradition.’”


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