Brooklyn Boro

June 17: ON THIS DAY in 1953, East Berlin in revolt

June 17, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle History

ON THIS DAY IN 1905, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Polite execration is being heaped on the members of the Municipal Art Commission as the men responsible for blasting the cherished plans to celebrate Bunker Hill Day by laying the cornerstone of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park. The Martyrs Monument Association planned last April to hold the important ceremonies today, June 17, being highly appropriate as the anniversary of the first interment of the remains of martyrs in the tombs of Fort Greene Park, and also as the anniversary of the Bunker Hill fight. For a hundred years, patriotic Brooklynites have worked hard for a Martyrs Monument, and there was great rejoicing among the latter day workers for this cause when it was announced that all would be ready for the laying of the cornerstone on June 17 … At the last moment came the announcement that the august body known as the Municipal Art Commission would not permit a spade to sink in the ground of Fort Greene Park because it had not approved of the accepted design for the monumental shaft. This announcement almost stunned the trustees of the monument association.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1909, the Eagle reported, “DAYTON, OHIO — Somebody at dawn today yelled ‘Hooray for little old Dayton!’ which, coupled with the names of Wilbur and Orville Wright, immediately became the slogan of Dayton’s two days celebration in honor of the world’s champion aviators. By the booming of cannon, shrieking of whistles and ringing of bells, the citizens of Dayton made it known that whatever claim the rulers of Europe or the government at Washington has upon the Wright brothers, theirs is that of fellow townspeople … Up to the hour of the opening ceremonies, Wilbur and Orville, hammering away in their workshop, were still busy with the details of packing up parts of an aeroplane for shipment to Washington. Miss Katherine Wright, a sister; Bishop Milton Wright, the father; and Lorin and Reuchlin, other brothers, had already entered the carriage when Wilbur and Orville emerged from their home.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1944, the Eagle reported, “WITH THE BRITISH IN NORMANDY (U.P.) — King George VI of England rode through a field strewn with German and British dead and past the wrecks of German cannon to pay a surprise visit to embattled British troops on the Normandy beachhead. Wearing the uniform of an admiral of the fleet, the King rode ashore unceremoniously yesterday in an American ‘duck’ let down from the British cruiser Arethusa. Startled troops on the beach stopped work to cheer him wildly, and French peasants gave the victory sign and cried ‘Vive le Roi!’ as the King passed along a country lane toward Gen. Sir Bernard L. Montgomery’s advanced headquarters. A fierce battle was raging on the front line as the King toured the area.” 

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “BERLIN (U.P.) — The Russian Army clamped martial law on East Berlin today as mobs of more than 100,000 angry East Germans defied the Communist regime and battled police in the streets in a bloody revolt. Soviet tanks and troops fired above the heads of rioters with machine guns and rifles and Red East Berlin police fired directly at the demonstrators. One 27-year-old German was crushed beneath the tracks of a Soviet tank. At least one demonstrator was wounded by the gunfire of East Berlin police. Many persons were felled as Communist police clubbed them in an attempt to turn back the rioting mobs, who set police kiosks ablaze, ripped down the Communist Red banner, smashed windows of the East German government building and tore up pictures of German Red leaders. Soviet authorities ordered a strict 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. Reports from the site where police fired said one or more persons were injured there and at Potsdamer Platz, the “Times Square” of Berlin, where other shots were fired. The proclamation of martial law was broadcast over Soviet-run Radio Berlin. It said that, effective as of 1 p.m., gatherings of more than three persons was prohibited.”


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