Brooklyn Boro

May 3: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

May 3, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History

ON THIS DAY IN 1850, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “At a recent concert given by Jenny Lind, the public did not confine themselves to bravos, recalls and flowers, but adopted the Italian method of manifesting their delight, which up to the present time is little known in Germany, by letting fly a large number of white pigeons from all parts of the house. After the concert, the members of the orchestra executed a serenade under the windows of the fair artiste, and some of the young men of the town got up a torch-light procession in her honor.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1909, the Eagle reported, “Ground was broken this morning for the great Gimbel store, at Broadway, Thirty-second and Thirty-third streets, Manhattan (Gimbel Square), of which location the late President [Alexander Cassatt] of the Pennsylvania Railroad sententiously and prophetically remarked: ‘The future center of a great development.’ It is determined that the new store, with its more than a million square feet of floor space, shall be opened to the public in the early autumn of next year … The Gimbel store, when opened, will require some seven thousand employees.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1939, the Eagle reported, “DETROIT (U.P.) — Three little words — ‘I’m ready, Joe’ — will send Lou Gehrig back into the lineup of the Yankees any time the Iron Man decides that he is ready to speak them. His job at first base is waiting for him but many a base hit probably will streak through the sunshine before Gehrig tells Manager Joe McCarthy that he is ready. For Gehrig is not ready now and nobody knows it better than himself. He knew it three days ago but it was not until yesterday in a hotel high above the center of Detroit that Gehrig announced he had decided to end his streak of 2,130 consecutive games — a streak that is a record today and one likely to stand for a century.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “The old submarine Squalus that sank in 1939 with the loss of 26 officers and men, and which was later raised, renamed the Sailfish, and sank a 22,500-ton Japanese carrier in 1945, went on the auction block today at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Along with the submarine Sea Dragon, it is being sold for scrap … The Squalus sank off Portsmouth, N.H., May 23, 1939. In 1945, as the U.S.S. Sailfish, the submarine, with 12 members of the old Squalus crew aboard, sank the Japanese carrier.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1946, the Eagle reported, “SAN FRANCISCO (UP) — A handful of ‘stir-crazy’ convicts fought a deadly hide-and-seek battle with U.S. marines and prison guards on Alcatraz Island today after an unsuccessful attempt to escape from the nation’s most impregnable prison. Possibly as many as 16 crime-hardened murderers, bank robbers and kidnapers held out doggedly in one wing of the main cellblock under a steady barrage of machine-gun, rifle and pistol fire and tear gas and smoke grenades. The desperadoes, locked in and isolated, continued to return the fire sporadically and authorities said they apparently were prepared for a ‘fight to the finish’ despite the fact they no longer stood a chance of getting off the island alive. Two destroyer escorts and five coast guard cutters and patrol boats maintained a tight block around ‘The Rock’ to prevent any convicts from escaping across the mile and one-half wide channel to the mainland.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1952, the Eagle reported, “JOHANNESBURG, UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA (U.P.) — A four-jet Comet passenger airliner of the British Overseas Airways Corporation neared here today on a history-making flight from London. The big airliner took off from Entebbe, on the northern shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda, Central Africa, at 2 a.m. (Brooklyn time) en route to Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia, north of this capital. Inaugurating jet-passenger service between London and Johannesburg, the plane left London yesterday and made stopovers in Rome and Beirut, Syria. It was 24 minutes late when it left Khartoum, but was on schedule again as it proceeded on the next to the last leg of its long flight.”

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Frankie Valli
David Bolshazy/Wikimedia Commons

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Frankie Valli, who was born in 1934; inventor and businessman Ron Popeil, who was born in 1935; former baseball player and manager Davey Lopes, who was born in 1945; sportscaster Greg Gumbel, who was born in 1946;

Greg Gumbel
U.S. Rep. John Dingell/Wikimedia Commons

“Think of Laura” singer Christopher Cross, who was born in 1951; comic book artist Bill Sienkiewicz, who was born in 1958; former N.Y. Islanders goalie Ron Hextall, who was born in 1964; “Mad Men” star Christina Hendricks, who was born in 1975; and former N.Y. Giants placekicker Lawrence Tynes, who was born in 1978.

Christina Hendricks
Raven Underwood/Wikimedia Commons

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RAY OF HOPE: Sugar Ray Robinson was born 100 years ago today. The Detroit native is generally considered “pound for pound the greatest boxer of all time.” A welterweight and middleweight champion, he won 175 professional fights and lost only 19. After retiring at age 45, he dabbled in show business and established the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation to counter juvenile delinquency. He died in 1989.

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ON THE AIR: National Public Radio, the first non-commercial radio network, premiered 50 years ago today. It is financed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Special thanks to “Chase’s Calendar of Events” and Brooklyn Public Library.

Quotable:

“I grew up beyond proud. We didn’t have much, but we had a lot of love.”
— singer Frankie Valli, who was born on this day in 1934


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