Brooklyn Boro

September 2: ON THIS DAY in 1945, Japanese sign surrender document; Truman proclaims today as VJ-Day

September 2, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle History

ON THIS DAY IN 1931, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “[Infantile] paralysis cases reported today totaled 53, of which 20 were in Brooklyn and 12 in Queens. Yesterday the total was 71 new cases, so today’s figures were construed by Health Commissioner Wynne as a continued gradual lessening of the epidemic. In Weehawken, N.J., the School Board today decided to follow the lead of New York and postpone opening of school. Instead of starting Sept. 8, sessions there will start Sept. 14. In New York, the schools will not open until Sept. 22.” 

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ON THIS DAY IN 1932, the Eagle reported, “Mayor Joseph V. McKee took over the reins of the city government today under auspices pointing to a war to the finish with Tammany, drastic cutting of the sky-high budget inherited from the regime of his predecessor, and wholesale lopping of Tammany favorites from the public payroll. The new city executive was regarded as a determined candidate at the special election scheduled for November, to succeed to the office dramatically surrendered to him by ‘Jimmy’ Walker. The circumstance brought the quiet, modest McKee into prominence as the most formidable barrier that Walker must hurdle if he is to seek to re-enter City Hall next January through the medium of a ‘vindication’ re-election. Untouched by one iota of the scandals of the Seabury investigation, commanding the support of the powerful Bronx Democratic machine and Governor Roosevelt’s Presidential organization, as well as that of independent Democrats and Republicans, McKee figures as a formidable candidate against Walker and Tammany this fall in either a straight-away or three-cornered race.” 

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ON THIS DAY IN 1939, the Eagle reported, “France is ready for the conciliation which may still avoid a general European war ‘if fighting stops and if the Germans leave Poland,’ Premier Edouard Daladier told the French Chamber of Deputies today. The hint that the door to peace is still open came in Paris soon after unconfirmed reports were received that the German armies had suspended operations in Poland. Those reports held that while the Nazi troops had not withdrawn from the invaded borders, as demanded by England and France, they had, nevertheless, ceased their penetration of Polish territory. Prepared to take action which may herald the outbreak of a general war, the British Parliament waited tensely today for Adolf Hitler’s reply to the demand that German troops be withdrawn from Poland at once. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain did not appear when the House of Commons opened its momentous session today. Sir John Simon, Chancellor of the Exchequer, explained that Chamberlain would issue a statement on the crisis later in the day. The answer on which war or peace for the world will depend was being framed in Berlin by Fuehrer Hitler and his closest advisers. As Reich soldiers remained on Polish soil, President Ignace Moscicki announced for his country that a ‘state of war’ exists.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “ABOARD THE U.S. BATTLESHIP MISSOURI IN TOKYO BAY (U.P.) — Japan surrendered formally, finally and unconditionally to the United States and its Allied powers today. On the starboard bow deck of this battleship in Tokyo Bay, her representatives signed a surrender document, which made her 80,000,000 people, from Emperor Hirohito down, subject to the authority of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Allied Commander. At the moment of signing, Japan was reduced to her four main islands and such minor islands as the Allies grant her. Her people, her government, her Demi-God Emperor, her industry, her very life came under Allied military rule and will remain there until the day when she is deemed to have for the first time in her 2,605 years of history a democratic, peacefully inclined government and thus is worthy of rejoining the family of nations … General MacArthur before the signing told the Japanese that the surrender was not one to be carried out in a spirit of distrust, malice or hatred and that he would rule them with justice and tolerance. After the signing, he told the American people the Japanese for the first time in their history would be freed from their slavery and could, if they used their talents rightly, lift themselves to a place of dignity in the world.”


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