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July 8: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

July 8, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1865, a Brooklyn Daily Eagle editorial said, “We find the following paragraph in an exchange paper: ‘An intelligent gentleman, a college graduate, has informed the Utica Herald that he had on Tuesday for the first time heard read consecutively — for he had never himself read — the Declaration of Independence. Fragments and extracts were familiar to him; the immortal document, as a whole, was a novelty to him.’ The gentleman referred to is not an exceptionable example of the American citizen. If the truth were known, four-fifths of the people would be found to have had similar experience. There is no document of so much historical importance which is so little circulated among the community. Hardly one person in fifty could tell where to lay their hands on a printed copy of the Declaration of Independence, or could tell what work it was published in. The ordinary school histories of the United States do not contain the document. It is heard of and quoted continually, but except when read at Fourth of July celebrations, few people have ever seen or heard it entire. And it is not unusual to hear some very erroneous ideas expressed concerning the Declaration, and the principles it proclaims. This document which enunciates the creed and faith of the founders of the government, and which is the chart to guide us now, ought to be as familiar as household words to every American citizen.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1940, the Eagle reported, “MEXICO CITY (A.P.) — Riotous disorders which accompanied Mexico’s presidential elections yesterday were estimated today to have taken between 50 and 100 lives and reports of widespread irregularities threatened to complicate the task of determining the outcome of the voting. An unofficial count showed at least 30 persons dead in Mexico City alone, while scores — perhaps hundreds — were reported wounded during pitched battles which surged through the streets of the capital. Some reports from the provinces indicated that the total injured might be in the thousands. Among the casualties in the capital were two American students — Edward J. Mallen Jr. of Frannie, Wyo., who was reported near death with a pistol wound in the stomach, and Leonard Durso, 18, of Union City, N.J., who was gravely wounded by a rifle bullet. Both Gen. Manuel Avila Camacho, administration candidate, and his independent rival, Gen. Juan Andreau Almazan, issued statements claiming overwhelming victory.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “A triumvirate of Democratic leaders today moved to force a showdown in the checkmated mayoralty situation by issuing a formal call for a meeting of the five County Democratic chieftains to designate a candidate for mayor. Despite growing talk that Mayor [William] O’Dwyer may reverse himself and seek re-election, Jeremiah Sullivan, Richmond leader, has teamed up with Hugo Rogers of Tammany Hall and James A. Roe of Queens and invited the leaders to sit down Monday at 2 p.m. in the National Democratic Club, Manhattan, to come up with a mayoralty candidate. The three leaders are reported to be disturbed over the private huddles which O’Dwyer has been holding with both Flynn and Cashmore and decided to resolve the mayoralty issue at a leaders’ meeting without the mayor’s presence.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “Jackie Robinson, star Dodger second baseman, and the Rev. Sandy F. Ray, pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church, 182 Gates Ave., were invited today, along with other prominent Negroes, to testify on the loyalty of their race before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Representative John S. Wood (D., Ga.), chairman of the committee, said the principal purpose of holding the hearings, due to start Tuesday in Washington, was ‘to give the lie to statements by singer Paul Robeson that American Negroes wouldn’t fight in case of a war against Russia.’ Robinson, asked at his Flatbush home whether he agreed with Robeson’s statements, said, ‘Paul Robeson speaks only for Paul Robeson,’ and continued: ‘I’d fight any aggressor. That includes any aggressor as well as a Russian. I’ve been treated very well and I’ll fight anyone who tries to take away from me my American heritage. I want to fight for my child’s right to live in this country and for any other child’s.’”

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Milo Ventimiglia
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Sophia Bush
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Songwriters Hall of Famer Steve Lawrence, who was born in Brooklyn in 1935; “Arrested Development” star Jeffrey Tambor, who was born in 1944; “True Grit” star Kim Darby, who was born in 1947; celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, who was born in 1949; Oscar-winner Anjelica Huston, who was born in 1951; author and activist Marianne Williamson, who was born in 1952; “Footloose” star Kevin Bacon, who was born in 1958; “Loser” singer Beck, who was born in 1970; “Heroes” star Milo Ventimiglia, who was born in 1977; “One Tree Hill” star Sophia Bush, who was born in 1982; and rapper and actor Jaden Smith, who was born in 1998.

Beck
Katy Winn/Invision/AP

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POST TIME: On this day in 1911, Nan Jane Aspinwall rode into New York City carrying a letter to Mayor William Jay Gaynor from San Francisco Mayor Patrick Henry McCarthy, becoming the first woman to cross the U.S. on horseback. She began her trip on Sept. 1, 1910 and covered 4,500 miles in 301 days.

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TIME FLIES: On this day in 2011, Space Shuttle Atlantis took off from Kennedy Space Center,  Florida, for the 135th and last mission of the space shuttle program. Atlantis was carrying supplies for the International Space Station and its 12-day mission included an investigation into robotically refueling spacecraft. The first space shuttle, Columbia, was launched on April 12, 1981. Robert L. Crippen, commander of that flight, was among the attendees for the final launch.

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

Quotable:

“The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with.”
— comedian Marty Feldman, who was born on this day in 1934


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