Brooklyn Boro

June 4: ON THIS DAY in 1963, World mourns Pope

June 4, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle History

ON THIS DAY IN 1940, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “London, June 4 (AP) — Britain will fight from the outposts of empire, if need be alone, until ‘the new world’ comes to her rescue, Winston Churchill told the House of Commons today … Churchill made it plain that he ‘did not for a moment believe’ that the Nazis could subjugate England, and he declared that Britain and France would work on together ‘like good comrades.’ However, he looked ahead to the darkest eventuality. ‘We shall go on to the end,’ the Prime Minister said. ‘We shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields and streets and in the hills. We shall never surrender and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or even a part of it is subjugated and starving, then our empire across seas, armed and guarded by the British fleet, will carry on the struggle until in God’s good time the new world in all its strength and might sets forth to the rescue and liberation of the old.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1941, an Eagle editorial stated, “Long after anyone but the experts will remember how many games he played in or what his batting average was, Lou Gehrig will be remembered for being what is greater and better than a great baseball player. He will be remembered as a man. A peculiar combination of nerves, eyesight and muscular control made him a great player. Character made the man. He might have been a great athlete and still have been unable to face steadfastly the approach of the death he knew he could not escape. The ability to meet that last and hopeless challenge bravely, without flinching, proved him for what he was. Few of us can hope ever to achieve anything like his prowess as an athlete. All of us must wish that when our time comes we can meet it as bravely as Lou Gehrig did, so that it will be said of us, as we say it today of him, ‘There was a man!’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1944, the Eagle reported, “Millions of Americans in and outside New York listening to their radios heard — at about 4:41 p.m. yesterday — their favorite afternoon programs suddenly interrupted with an urgent bulletin: ‘Flash! Eisenhower’s headquarters announced Allied landings in France.’ There was no confirmation and no detail. Two minutes later came the word that the Associated Press, which had sent the flash, ordered it ‘withheld.’ A few minutes after that came word from the Associated Press to ‘kill it.’ According to the Associated Press, a young girl operator in London, idly practicing on a teletype machine, yesterday gave half the world — for a brief few minutes — the solemn thrill it had long been waiting for: the thrill of ‘invasion.’ … It was not until an hour after the original message that the detailed explanation came in a statement from the AP as follows: ‘The AP’s London bureau advised that the erroneous message had been sent by a new girl, teletyping a wholly unauthorized test on a teletype punching keyboard.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “Vatican City (UPI) — Pope John XXIII, the Pope of Peace who was beloved by all the world, died as 100,000 faithful gathered in an open air mass in St. Peter’s Square praying for his release from all earthly pain. The 81-year-old pontiff, one of the greatest Popes of all time but a gentle man who reached out to all mankind, died at 7:49 p.m. (2:49 p.m. EDT) in the fifth year of his reign after suffering his death agonies for nearly four days. As the word was flashed over the Vatican radio, a great sob went out from the thousands of pilgrims gathered below his shuttered third floor window. Men and women broke into tears and fell to their knees. Even more thousands ran towards St. Peter’s Square shouting: ‘Il Papa e morto … Il Papa e morto.’”


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