July 14: ON THIS DAY in 1948, Fight begins over civil rights
ON THIS DAY IN 1863, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The 13th of July, 1863, will be a sadly memorable day in the history of New York, when the city was given over to the rule of a desperate mob. Opposition to the draft was the exciting cause of the outbreak; but the spirit of lawless violence once let loose, there was no staying its progress or prescribing any limit in its work of destruction. The destruction of the Provost Marshall’s offices in the Eighth and Ninth districts was followed by reckless acts of brutal ferocity in all parts of the city; violence, rapine and arson were the order of the day until a late hour of the night.”
ON THIS DAY IN 1938, the Eagle reported, “CHICAGO (AP) — Clint Frank was the only unanimous choice of college football coaches who contributed their selections to the all-star gridiron poll, now in the hands of the football public, which will select the team to meet the champion Washington Redskins at Soldier Field. Frank has announced he won’t take part in the game, though. He is on a European tour at present. Sam Chapman, who is making good with the Philadelphia Athletics, is another star marked ‘not available’ for football play on Aug. 31. Other favorites of the coaches who are receiving strong support in the public voting, too, are Chuck Sweeney, Notre Dame end; Byron White, Colorado half; Corby Davis, Indiana fullback; and Ed Franco, Fordham tackle.” Byron White was the runner-up to Clint Frank for the 1937 Heisman Trophy. He had a short but successful NFL career and then attended Yale Law School. From 1962 to 1993, he was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was succeeded by Brooklynite Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He died in 2002.
ON THIS DAY IN 1944, the Eagle reported, “AMERICAN 1ST ARMY HEADQUARTERS, FRANCE (U.P.) — A full military funeral was being arranged today for Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, 56, whose death Wednesday night was attributed to a heart attack aggravated by battle fatigue resulting from almost continuous combat activity since D-Day, when he led a first wave of assault troops onto the Normandy beaches. It was expected he would be buried in a cemetery not far from that landing spot and in the country where his brother, Quentin, was killed in World War I. Carrying on the fighting traditions of his father, the former President and Rough Rider, he had been in the thick of the battle of France for weeks. Ill for days, he had declined medical attention to remain in the front lines with soldiers of the 4th Division, of which he was a deputy commander. Friends said he never fully recovered from pneumonia contracted shortly after his arrival in Britain. He died peacefully in his tent, attended in his last hours by Army Doctor Major Kenneth McPherson of Beckley, W. Va., who knew him as ‘the fightingest little guy in this man’s army.’”
ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “CONVENTION HALL, PHILADELPHIA — A bitter convention floor battle between Northern liberals and Southern conservatives over the politically hot civil rights plank today threatened to widen the rift in the already strife-torn Democratic party. Southerners said they were ‘determined’ to press for a States’ rights stand in the party platform. The announcement was made by former Gov. Dan Moody, of Texas. He said he has drawn up a States’ rights plank and will ‘insist’ that it be included in the platform. The heart of his proposed plank said: ‘Traditionally it has been, and it remains, a part of the faith of the Democratic party that the Federal Government shall not encroach upon the reserved powers of the States by centralization of government or otherwise.’ Moody’s determination to press the plank put an end to the hopes of party leaders that they could avoid a floor fight. They had hoped to do so by writing a compromise civil rights plank which would placate all Democrats. Mayor Hubert Humphrey of Minneapolis announced earlier that he plans to counter the Southern move. He said he would offer a plank to make the civil rights declaration even stronger by pressing for specific legislation. The Southerners are willing to support a civil rights declaration. But they want it offset by a plank granting each State the right to determine the conduct of its own racial relations.”
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