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August 2: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

August 2, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1915, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI — The violent revolutionary activities of last week have been followed by a political deadlock in the efforts of the Haitian Congress to elect a president in succession to [Vilbrun] Guillaume, who was shot to death on the streets of the capital. A majority of the National Assembly desires to elect to the presidency [Philippe Sudre] Dartiguenave, but these members are in sharp conflict with the revolutionary committee which desires the election of Dr. Rosalvo Bobo, leader of the successful revolution. In spite of the assurances given by the American naval commander that Congress will enjoy the protection of the American force present in order to deliberate with freedom, the senators and deputies have decided not to elect a president at the present time. They are forced to this course by fear of attack from the partisans of Dr. Bobo.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1936, the Eagle reported, “BERLIN, AUG. 1 (A.P.) — American athletes participated here today in the pageantry attending the opening of the 11th Olympics and brought from the crowd a noise that sounded suspiciously like the American ‘razzberry.’ There was the suggestion that the whistling may have come from several thousand Americans grouped together in the stands, but obvious was the fact that the athletes from the United States in several respects ignored the adage of doing in Rome as the Romans do. Reichsfuehrer Adolf Hitler, attired in a brown uniform and smiling genially, did the honors at the opening ceremony beneath dripping skies. A crowd of 105,000 persons packed the massive, double-decked stadium to overflowing as 4,500 athletes, representing 50 nations, marched past the reviewing stand and took the Olympic oath. A wild burst of enthusiasm roared down from the crowd as the French and Austrian athletes gave the Nazi salute. Contrasted with this was the noise that greeted the Americans, who, with the second largest delegation, marched next to last and just ahead of the Germans. There was a terrific amount of whistling and the applause for the Americans came only when they marched out of the stadium. One reason offered for the rather uncomplimentary reception was that the Americans overnight had decided against giving a modified Nazi salute and instead doffed their hats, placed them over hearts and executed an eyes right. Then there was the additional fact that the American regulations forbid the dipping of the flag and that the Americans put their hats back on while the band played ‘Horst Wessel,’ the Nazi marching song and German’s second national anthem.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1939, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (A.P.) — President [Franklin] Roosevelt today signed the Hatch bill regulating political activity of most federal job holders and told Congress in a special message that if administered ‘in accordance with its spirit,’ it would serve the purpose intended by Congress. Taking the usual step of informing Congress why he had approved the measure, the president said questions of constitutionality had been resolved in favor of the bill. Mr. Roosevelt pointed to many of the broad provisions of the measure as involving difficulty of interpretation, but said: ‘It is because for so many years I have striven in public life and in private life for decency in political campaigns, both on the part of government servants, of candidates, of newspapers, of corporations and of individuals that I regard this new legislation as at least a step in the right direction.’ The act, sought by Senator [Carl] Hatch (D., N.M.) for nearly two years, prohibits all federal job holders except policy-making officials from participating in politics in any way except to vote, on threat of removal from office. This will apply particularly to United States attorneys, marshals, customs and revenue collectors who in the past have been delegates to presidential nominating conventions. Among other things, the sweeping measure also forbids solicitation of campaign contributions from persons on relief and prohibits use of relief funds to influence persons in voting. Violators could be fined $1,000 and imprisoned for a year. Cabinet officers and other policy-making officials, as well as members and employees of Congress are exempted from the measure.”

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Simone Manuel
Oleg Bkhambri/Wikimedia Commons
Mary-Louise Parker
Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Yentl” star Nehemiah Persoff, who was born in 1919; former Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, who was born in 1939; “The House of the Spirits” author Isabel Allende, who was born in 1942; “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” star Joanna Cassidy, who was born in 1945; talk show host and writer Dennis Prager, who was born in 1948; Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner, who was born in 1951; “The Munsters” star Butch Patrick, who was born in 1953; “The Alienist” author Caleb Carr, who was born in 1955; “Nevermind” producer Butch Vig, who was born in 1955; “Purple Rain” star Apollonia Kotero, who was born in 1959; “Weeds” star Mary-Louise Parker, who was born in 1964; “Clerks” director Kevin Smith, who was born in 1970; “Avatar” star Sam Worthington, who was born in 1976; former N.Y. Jets safety Kerry Rhodes, who was born in 1982; and swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel, who was born in 1996.

Sam Worthington
Eva Rinaldi/Wikimedia Commons

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SIGNATURE MOMENTS: Contrary to widespread misconceptions, the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence did not sign as a group on July 4, 1776. John Hancock and secretary Charles Thomson signed only draft copies that day, the official day the declaration was adopted by Congress. The signing of the official declaration took place on Aug. 2, 1776, when 50 men probably took part. Later that year, five more signed separately and one added his name in a subsequent year.

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BY THE NUMBERS: The U.S. Census was inaugurated on this day in 1790. The most populated city was New York, with 33,131 residents. Legally mandated by the Constitution, the Census takes place every 10 years. 

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

Quotable:

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

— writer James Baldwin, who was born on this day in 1924


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