Brooklyn Boro

December 24: ON THIS DAY in 1950, 540,000 Reds set for yule drive; jab at Seoul lines; Hungnam quiet

December 24, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “HAMM, LUXEMBOURG (U.P.) — Gen. George S. Patton was buried on a bluff beneath wind-swept pines today, surrounded by white crosses above the graves of soldiers who fell along his 3rd Army’s victory road. Raw blasts of wind swirled across the U.S. Military Cemetery and snapped the khaki canvas canopy while the burial service was read before the open grave. Three rounds of salutes from a 12-man firing squad rattled against the leaden sky. Then a long bugler, his back to the wind, sounded taps. The general’s wife, Beatrice, stood quietly through the committal service but almost broke down when Patton’s Negro orderly, Sgt. William G. Meeks, Junction City, Kan., handed her the American flag that had covered the casket. There were tears in Meeks’ eyes and his face was strained as he bowed slowly and handed her the folded flag. He saluted with a gloved hand and peered directly into her eyes, exchanging a final measure of condolence.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1950, the Eagle reported, “TOKYO (U.P.) —An estimated 540,000 Chinese and North Korean troops massed along and above the 38th Parallel today for a major offensive that may come by the light of a full Christmas moon. In northeast Korea, the U.S. 3rd Division, under protection of rocket ships, naval gunfire and planes, spent a day of quiet in the Hungnam beachhead yesterday, also waiting tensely for an all-out Red assault that has not come in eight days of siege. The enemy has been jabbing at 8th Army defense positions above Seoul for more than a week, and general headquarters has warned that this probably is the prelude to a general drive that may be launched within the next 24 to 48 hours. Such a drive would come at a time when the 8th Army is saddened by the death of Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker, its swashbuckling commander, who was killed Saturday in a jeep-truck collision. Lt. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, wartime commander of the 82nd Airborne Division and now assigned to the office of the deputy chief of staff in Washington, will replace him in a few days.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — President Eisenhower’s Christmas message to the nation and the world today was a public prayer that ‘peace on earth’ on this Christian holiday be made real and everlasting. His deeply-felt prayer for peace was to be broadcast by three radio and television networks (NBC, CBS and ABC) at 5:09 p.m., at the climax of the 30th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the south lawn of the White House. The Voice of America planned to carry his message of good will to every corner of the world with broadcasts in 34 languages. Mr. Eisenhower chose to deliver his four-minute address from the White House broadcast room and then step outside to ‘light’ the 35-foot Norway spruce decked out with 1,700 decorations and 1,000 colored bulbs. The president actually only gives the signal by tapping a small telegraphic key and an electrician closes the large switch at the foot of the tree.”

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ON DEC. 27, 1947, the Eagle reported, “With the health and safety of the city periled by the crippling and record-breaking snowstorm — only eight ambulances were operating in Brooklyn — the Mayor’s Emergency Committee assembled at Manhattan Police Headquarters today to devise means of moving essentials and to co-ordinate efforts of city departments in combatting the menace. Attending were all the borough presidents, city commissioners and department heads, representatives of public utilities and railroads, and navy, army and state guard officials. The meeting started at 9:30 a.m. and it was indicated that several hours would elapse before a report would be forthcoming. Several important city officials, however, gave reporters a definite idea of the agenda of the conference. Police Commissioner [Arthur] Wallander said the main purpose of the meeting was to find out how much manpower could be summoned to move food, fuel and other essentials. Acting Mayor [Vincent] Impellitteri described the principal objective as co-ordination by city agencies to safeguard public health. He said that first reports indicate milk and other food were starting to move.”


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