Brooklyn Boro

April 5: ON THIS DAY in 1951, two American spies get the chair

April 5, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History

ON THIS DAY IN 1933, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Coleman Cohen, 88, war veteran, of 81 Arlington Ave., one of the last survivors of the 13th Regiment of the Civil War, died yesterday of pneumonia at his home after a short illness. He was past commander of L.N. Hamilton Post, 152 G.A.R., and was one of the organizers of John Eiseman Camp, 79, Sons of Union Veterans. He was born in Prussia and resided in East New York for 46 years. He enlisted in the 13th Regiment in 1861 and rose to the rank of captain. He saw action in a number of engagements and was wounded at Bull Run. After the war he was attached to Co. K of the Eighth Regiment, National Guard. He was for many years in the hat business and retired a year ago. He was a member of Yorkville Lodge, 69 F.S. of I.; Tyrian Lodge, F. & A.M., and the Kings County Memorial and Executive Committee of the G.A.R.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1951, the Eagle reported, “Two American wartime atom spies were sentenced to death today by a judge who said their crime had ‘altered the course of history.’ The supreme penalty was inflicted on Julius Rosenberg, 32, and his wife, Ethel, 35. They are the first American citizens in history to be doomed for espionage. They are to be executed, Federal Judge Irving R. Kaufman said, in the week beginning May 21. Under federal law, the death sentence is carried out in the state in which they were convicted – in this case, in the electric chair at Sing Sing. After a brief recess, Judge Kaufman sentenced Morton Sobell, the Rosenbergs’ co-conspirator, to 30 years in prison. He explained he had no sympathy for Sobell, but that the evidence did not point to his having had ‘any activity in connection with the atom bomb itself.’ … Judge Kaufman said sternly that he could find no mercy for the couple because of the ‘enormity’ of their crime. He said they were ‘openly hostile’ to the United States at the time they delivered the A-bomb secret to Russia. ‘By your betrayal you have altered the course of history,’ he said. ‘Your act has already caused Communist aggression in Korea and caused more than 50,000 casualties. Millions more may die because of you.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “Oslo, April 5 (U.P.) – Crown Princess Martha of Norway died today at the age of 53. She was stricken more than three weeks ago with a liver ailment. At the bedside when death came were King Haakon; Crown Prince Olaf, her husband; their three children, Princess Ragnhild, Princess Astrid and Prince Harald. Princess Ragnhild is now Mrs. Erling Lorentzen of Rio de Janeiro. Others at the bedside were Princess Ingeborg of Sweden, Prince Carl Axel Bernadotte of Sweden and Princess Margaretha of Denmark. Known as a democratic princess in a democratic country, Crown Princess Martha, with her husband, came to the United States in 1939 to open the Norwegian pavilion at the New York World’s Fair, and spent considerable time in Brooklyn. She and her husband visited 24 of the 48 states, talking with residents of the many Norwegian settlements in this country.”

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ON APRIL 7, 1912, the Eagle reported, “The Titanic, the latest addition to the steamers of the White Star Line, is now at Southampton preparing for her first voyage. She is scheduled to leave Southampton, Cherbourg and Queenstown on April 10, to arrive here on April 17, sailing from here on her first eastern voyage on April 20. The Titanic is 882 feet 6 inches long, 92 feet 6 inches wide, 66,000 tons displacement and 46,000 tons gross register.”


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