Brooklyn Boro

December 31: ON THIS DAY in 1928, Doom New Years Eve oases

December 31, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1900, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The last day of the nineteenth century began with alternate scowling and weeping, but even ill humor or remorse, or the combination of both, seemed to be having little effect upon the spirits of people whose faces showed that they were looking forward to the mystic hour of midnight when the chimes on Trinity Church will announce such a New Year’s morn as no one who hears them understandingly has ever seen before or will ever see again. For it will be, indeed, the beginning of the ‘year of a hundred years,’ and it was not difficult to imagine a trace of this thought in the face of many a man gazing absently at his newspaper as the groaning motor or the panting engine carried him toward his business. It seems quite certain, therefore, that there will be some definite expression of this feeling in the demonstrations of various kinds which will mark the passage of this New Year’s eve. That these demonstrations will be of all kinds, to say nothing of all degrees of exuberance, needs not to be said. There is certain to be an unusually large crowd on lower Broadway, gathered ostensibly to hear the chimes, but actually to make such a racket that the chimes can’t be heard at all.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1918, the Eagle reported, “Brooklyn revelers of New Year’s Eve, who may have harbored the least apprehension that their plans might be brought to naught by the call of a strike of the waiters and cooks, need worry no longer. Gus, the waiter, and Pietro, the cook, bearing no ill will toward their benevolent employers, have no intention of marring the celebration in this borough. Mayor Hylan has approved of the issuing by the State Excise Department of approximately 150 all-night licenses for tonight out of the many applied for … ‘This is an unusual year,’ said Mayor Hylan today. ‘There never has been such a time for celebration as this year. The end of the war and the fact that the country is in such shape and conditions are improving is sufficient reason for making an exception this year. We can’t bottle up the enthusiasm of the people this year. Personally I prefer to remain at home and welcome the New Year in a quiet manner, but all persons are not like that and we must make allowances for the difference.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1928, the Eagle reported, “New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Night are going to bring the greatest police cleanup of night clubs, speakeasies and criminal haunts the Greater City has ever witnessed. That, said Deputy Chief Inspector Thomas P. Cummings this afternoon, is not a mere prediction. It is just a bald statement of impending facts. While he was speaking, most of the city’s 700 detectives were sifting out the batch of 183 alleged criminals who were dragged in during the weekend roundup — the largest lineup at Police Headquarters in the city’s history. Commissioner Whalen personally directed the sending of the prisoners to the platform for inspection. ‘We are going to make the speakeasies of New York as dry as the Sahara Desert,’ Inspector Cummings continued, with a bang of his fist to emphasize his remarks.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1941, the Eagle reported, “Retracing a plea for a silent New Year’s Eve celebration, Mayor LaGuardia today at City Hall told New York City’s 7,000,000 citizens ‘to have a good time’ tonight. Casting an eye to the sky, the Mayor declared: ‘The weather is in our favor. I don’t think that [son of a bitch] can send any planes over tonight. And I mean Hitler.” … Faced with a hard, nose-to-the-grindstone period of war privation, merrymakers are preparing, as sold-out spots, hotels and theaters indicate, for a hot time to send out a year that carried America into war and to welcome one that brings promise of victory.”


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