Brooklyn Boro

November 4: ON THIS DAY in 1952, Voting nears record

November 4, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle History

ON THIS DAY IN 1856, a Brooklyn Daily Eagle editorial said, “As each four years we witness a great revolution in our government — a change of rulers or a change of principles, as the people may demand — we cannot fail to admire more and more the consummate wisdom of those great and good men who framed this wonderful political machinery, and gave to the majority of the people the power to ratify or condemn the conduct of their public officers; to change the whole policy of the government if they see fit, or continue it if its results are satisfactory and meet their approbation. Nowhere outside of this glorious confederacy of independent States can such a sight be seen as that which we witness today.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1924, the Eagle reported, “President [Calvin] Coolidge and John W. Davis summed up their Presidential campaigns last night over the radio, eight hours before the polls opened today. Both candidates pleaded with their vast unseen audiences not to neglect their privilege of franchise, the former exhorting all to vote ‘solely in the light of their own consciences’ and the latter to visit the polls with ‘the plain question of right or wrong’ uppermost in mind. Speaking in the White House study, where a special microphone was installed, the President’s address was transmitted by wire to the Washington station of WCAP, whence it was broadcast country-wide over a hook-up of 23 other stations. John W. Davis spoke into a transmitter of station WEAF of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company at 195 Broadway, and his summation was broadcast by a combination of 12 stations that extended from Rhode Island to Minnesota.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1940, the Eagle reported, “TOKIO (AP) — Belief is expressed in many Japanese circles that a change in the Washington administration through the American election Tuesday might bring changes in the United States’ foreign policy. Public interest was keen. Official quarters, however, have remained silent.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “Assemblyman-elect Bertram L. Baker of the 17th A.D. today had the distinction of being the first Negro ever elected to public office in Brooklyn. Nominated by the Democratic and American Labor parties, he polled 21,086 votes, of which 5,392 were on the A.L.P. line. His opponent, Mrs. Maude B. Richardson, also a Negro, who was indorsed by the Republican and Liberal parties, received 11,628 ballots, 2,777 of which were Liberal party votes. Mr. Baker, a 50-year-old public accountant, who lives at 399 Jefferson Ave., will succeed Democratic Assemblyman John J. Walsh, who did not run for re-election. Confidential aide to Borough President [John] Cashmore, Baker has served also as a deputy collector of internal revenue assigned to the Brooklyn Income Tax Bureau … Born in Nevis, British West Indies, Baker, the father of two married daughters, came to this country in 1915. He has lived in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area since 1923.” 

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ON THIS DAY IN 1952, the Eagle reported, “The destiny of a nation was being decided behind the protective curtain of voting booths from New York to California today as America went to the polls to select its 33rd President. In Brooklyn and everywhere, voting was extremely heavy during the morning in districts favoring both major parties. By noon, more than 50 percent of the voters here had already waited patiently in line to make their choice. It was the same in Bay Ridge, expected to go Republican, as in Flatbush and Borough Park, where the Democrats are counting on a large majority. Upstate in some areas the turnout was described as ‘unprecedented,’ in both urban and semi-rural districts, and in New Jersey early balloting was running as much as 20 percent ahead of 1948. Some borough election districts reported that voters were streaming through at the almost fantastic average rate of one a minute. It was unmistakable evidence that there was no indecision in the minds of the citizens exercising their franchise.”


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