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August 9: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

August 9, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1910, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “William J. Gaynor, the mayor of the city of New York, is lying in St. Mary’s Hospital, Hoboken, N.J., in a critical condition, wounded with a bullet shot at him by a drunken and discharged minor employee of the Dock Department. The man had been threatening those who had secured his retirement from public employment, but no one imagined that his resentment was against the mayor … There has rarely been such public interest in any case, for the news of the shooting came unexpectedly. The honored chief magistrate of the city was on his way to Europe for a well-earned summer jaunt, and only ordinary precautions had been taken to prevent trouble … The official medical statement of the injury of the mayor, issued at 12:45, is as follows: ‘The mayor was shot on the right side of the neck, the bullet entering the posterior and ranging downward and forward. The position of the bullet has not been definitely located, but will be later by an X-ray. The mayor is conscious and is now resting quietly, and there seems to be no immediate danger.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1913, an Eagle editorial said, “About nine months ago William Sulzer was elected governor of this state by a tremendous majority. In his inaugural address he declared that he was subject to the control only of his own conscience, giving expression to the hope that when his term ended he should be found to have justified the confidence of his fellow man. It was, he proclaimed, his purpose to follow the footsteps of [Silas] Wright and [Samuel] Tilden, and to walk in the street called Straight. Dramatically, he declared that the hour had struck. For more than a week a case has been developing. It shows what sort of street had been traversed between nomination and inauguration. It did not show the thoroughfare to be Straight. Nor does it appear to have been clean. On the contrary, it was serpentine and slimy. There is nothing nebulous about the case. The facts are not subject to dispute. There is not a court in the country in which they would be rejected as inconclusive. No jury would hesitate to pass judgment on them. With all these things William Sulzer was familiar when he took the oath of office. He knew that a statement to the truth of which he had sworn was false and misleading. He knew it concealed what would have ruined him to disclose. He knew that he had ceased to be subject to the control of his conscience. And he could not possibly have forgotten either the serpentine or the slimy.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “The Community Councils of the City of New York joined with other civic groups and city officials today to express deep concern over the growing crime problem in New York and called for a $1,000-a-year raise for every cop to alleviate the ‘near-collapse’ and demoralization of our police force.’ The civic group, headed by the Rev. Frank Peer Beal of Brooklyn, charged that ‘as long as our police force is maligned, demoralized and underpaid, we might rightfully expect no more than a spiritless and weakened line of defense.’ The Community Council’s resolution came on the heels of a report by Transit Authority member Harris J. Klein of Brooklyn that subway crimes are on the increase. Klein urged that more transit cops be hired, even if it means curtailment of some subway maintenance. ‘I’d rather have a safer subway system for our people than a cleaner system,’ he declared. Klein, speaking on the WNYC radio show ‘Campus Press Conference,’ suggested that cops and firemen wear their badges when they ride the subways to discourage pickpockets and molesters. In another program — this one the Citizens Union Searchlight TV show — Chief Magistrate John M. Murtagh criticized the federal government for failing to deal properly with the city’s narcotics problem. Citing that ‘almost every addict in the city is an active criminal,’ Murtagh said, ‘The federal government is failing miserably in dealing with both the public health and the enforcement aspects of the problem.’”

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Chamique Holdsclaw
John Bazemore/AP
Hoda Kotb
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy, who was born in 1928; “Road House” star Sam Elliott, who was born in 1944; incoming Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Simmons, who was born in 1949; “Working Girl” star Melanie Griffith, who was born in 1957; “Married… with Children” star Amanda Bearse, who was born in 1958; rap legend Kurtis Blow, who was born in 1959; fashion designer Michael Kors, who was born in 1959; Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull, who was born in 1964; “Today” co-anchor Hoda Kotb, who was born in 1964; Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, who was born in 1967; “The X-Files” star Gillian Anderson, who was born in 1968; “Hulk” star Eric Bana, who was born in 1968; “Charlie’s Angels” director McG, who was born in 1968; former N.Y. Knicks head coach Derek Fisher, who was born in 1974; “Boston Legal” star Rhona Mitra, who was born in 1976; “Amelie” star Audrey Tautou, who was born in 1976; Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Chamique Holdsclaw, who was born in 1977; “Pitch Perfect” star Anna Kendrick, who was born in 1985; and former N.Y. Giants cornerback Eli Apple, who was born in 1995.

Bob Cousy
Alex Brandon/AP

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GOLD STANDARD: Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal of the 11th Olympic Games on this day in 1936. The track and field legend left Berlin having won the 100 meters, long jump, 200 meters and 4×100-meter relay. His record-breaking performance stood until Carl Lewis won gold medals in the same events at the 1984 Summer Olympics in L.A.

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NATIONAL NIGHTMARE: Richard Nixon became the first U.S. president to resign on this day in 1974. The resignation, which the president announced to the American people the night before, became effective at noon. Nixon, who was under threat of impeachment as a result of the Watergate scandal, was succeeded by Vice President Gerald Ford.

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

Quotable:

“Do your best when no one is looking. If you do that, then you can be successful in anything that you put your mind to.”

— Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy, who was born on this day in 1928


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