Brooklyn Boro

March 1: ON THIS DAY in 1917, German plot against U.S. confirmed

March 1, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History

ON THIS DAY IN 1876, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “It is evident that transit is the question of the hour. Brooklyn is stirred to resolution and practical movement in favor of it. The suburbs catch the spirit, and are moving to reap the advantages which the connection of Brooklyn with the Island will assure. It is proposed by Mr. P.H. Reid to connect his Canarsie and Rockaway road with Coney Island and Prospect Park. The more means of communication the better, and when they are all under way we will look back on the long period of horse transit as soldiers look back on flint lock muskets, or old Brooklynites on the rope ferry.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1907, the Eagle reported, “Within the last few day the supply of water for the Borough of Brooklyn and Queens has been increased by something like 10,000,000 gallons per day. Deputy Commissioner Crozier, of the Department of Water Supply, yesterday started the pumping of water from ten deep wells sunk at Rosedale, L.I. These wells extend to a depth of 60 feet beneath the clay bed, indicating that the source of the supply is a long distance from the pits of the wells. One of these wells flows freely. Mr. Crozier expects that by Monday the ten wells at Rosedale will yield a perfect, steady supply. The capacity of the new Rosedale wells is not less than 5,000,000 gallons per day. The other increase of 5,000,000 gallons was obtained by the installation of new machinery at the old New Lots pumping station. Some years ago the city bought that plant from a private water company.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1917, the Eagle reported, “The German plot to form a triple alliance with Mexico and Japan for the purpose of making war against the United States received full official confirmation today at the White House, the State Department and in the Senate. Secretary of State [Robert] Lansing, when asked concerning the accuracy of the Zimmerman proposal, which was transmitted to the German minister in Mexico through Count [Johann] von Bernstorff, said: ‘We know that it is true.’ He added: ‘I will not give out the source from which we got it, because it might endanger the lives of some people.’ The secretary of state also said this for publication: ‘We do not believe that Japan has any knowledge of this or that she would consider any proposition made by an enemy. We have confidence that Mexico would not be a party to any such agreement, in view of the friendly relations existing between the de facto government of Mexico and this government.’ The attempt of Germany to arouse Mexico and Japan against the United States is only a part of what the government has learned concerning German machinations against this country. The United States is in possession of evidence which shows that there was also a plot to cause an uprising in the United States, with the idea of having it come simultaneously with the announcement of German-Mexican-Japanese alliance, in case that could be consummated.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1950, the Eagle reported, “London, March 1 (U.P.) – Dr. Klaus Fuchs, brilliant British atomic scientist, pleaded guilty today to delivering Anglo-American atomic secrets to Russia and was given the heaviest possible sentence of 14 years in prison. Lord Chief Justice Goddard said, in sentencing the German-born scientist and confessed Soviet agent, that he would have been shot for the same offense in wartime. Fuchs, 38, went on trial in the historic Old Bailey Court on charges that twice in the United States and twice in Britain he handed to the Russians information likely to be of the highest possible value to a potential enemy. Justice Goddard accepted the guilty plea and, denouncing Fuchs as a man who had ‘imperiled American and British friendship,’ gave him the maximum sentence. The justice thundered that the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde had admitted a crime only ‘technically different from high treason. The technicality is that Britain is now at peace.’”


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