Brooklyn Boro

August 23: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

August 23, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1910, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Three hundred firefighters, of a total force of six hundred which has been battling the flames in the burning White Pine Forest of northern Idaho, are unaccounted for today. Government Forest Supervisor W.R. Weigel, at Wallace today, declared his belief that nearly all of this number has perished. ‘Out of my total force of six hundred men I have received word of the safely of only three hundred,’ said the supervisor. ‘The others, when last heard from, were working in the districts where the flames have been fiercest, along the headwaters of the Coeur d’Alene and the St. Joe. I am forced to the appalling conclusion that nearly all of these men have lost their lives.” The Eagle also reported, from Spokane, Wash., “That Elk City is still on the map and out of the reach of the forest fires ravaging the surrounding country, which is ablaze for miles, is due solely to the heroism of the women of the town, who, while the male population was fighting the advance of the conflagration, guarded their homes and the business houses, extinguishing a number of incipient blazes started by brands carried from the burning forests. Many of them stayed on the roofs of the buildings all Saturday night, and but for their bravery the town would have been a mass of smoldering embers.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “SHANGHAI (A.P.) — An estimated 400 persons were killed and perhaps 1,000 wounded, including three Americans, by a heavy artillery shell that smashed into a crowded department store section of the International Settlement today. Scores of Americans miraculously escaped death when a second projectile pierced the six-story United States naval warehouse and crashed through to the bottom, but failed to explode. The wounded Americans were Anthony Billingham, staff correspondent for the New York Times; Hallett Abend, chief of staff for the New York Times in China; and Blanche Tenney, Shanghai-born American. Other Americans may have been killed or wounded. The huge projectile screamed over the International Settlement just as thousands were pouring into the streets for lunch. The blast tore away the entire façade and blew out one whole corner of Sincere and Company’s great department store. The fronts of the two buildings occupied by the Wing On and Company department store across the street were literally blown away.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “Arthur Levitt, president of the Board of Education, has urged that the city adopt the boys’ club plan proposed by City Council President Abe Stark at an estimated cost of $35,000,000 to $40,000,000. ‘I am firmly devoted to the concept that it would be money well spent,’ Mr. Levitt said, declaring his belief that ‘an adequate after-school recreation program would be a major step toward curbing juvenile crime. Our Board of Education might well assume the sponsorship of such a plan, and I think it would work to the advantage of all our children. It would be a splendid idea if we could enlist teacher cooperation.’ Mr. Levitt said the kind of program he had in mind was one which would ‘keep the children off the streets, maintain their interest and channel their energies into worthwhile pursuits.’ The speaker made his recommendations yesterday in an answer to questions put by a panel of college students on the ‘Campus Press Conference’ program, a weekly public service feature of WNYC, the municipal radio station. ‘The adolescent,’ Mr. Levitt said in explanation of his view, ‘is bewildered and oppressed by a boundless energy which calls for action of various sorts. We’ve had unfortunate demonstrations of what happens when that overflowing energy is channeled into evil and perverted courses.’”

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Barbara Eden
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Jeremy Lin
Business Wire

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include economist and Nobel Prize laureate Robert Solow, who was born in Brooklyn in 1924; “Psycho” star Vera Miles, who was born in 1929; “I Dream of Jeannie” star Barbara Eden, who was born in 1931; political satirist Mark Russell, who was born in 1932; Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen, who was born in 1934; “WKRP in Cincinnati” star Richard Sanders, who was born in 1940; International Tennis Hall of Famer Nancy Richey, who was born in 1942; “Plum Island” author Nelson DeMille, who was born in 1943; former Surgeon General Antonia Novello, who was born in 1944; “Cheers” star Shelley Long, who was born in 1949; “Jessie’s Girl” singer Rick Springfield, who was born in 1949; former N.Y. Mets first baseman Julio Franco, who was born in 1958; “Saturday Night Live” star Jay Mohr, who was born in 1970; “X-Men” star Ray Park, who was born in 1974; swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin, who was born in 1982; and former Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin, who was born in 1988.

Rick Springfield
John Salangsang/Invision/AP

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SONG AND DANCE: Gene Kelly was born on this day in 1912. The actor, dancer, director and choreographer starred in many hit films, including the musicals “Singin’ in the Rain” and “An American in Paris.” He died in 1996.

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SHAKEN UP: Brooklyn was hit by tremors on this day in 2011. A magnitude 5.8 earthquake that was centered in Virginia was felt here for about 15 seconds at 1:50 p.m. Minimal damage was reported, but Borough President Marty Markowitz told the Brooklyn Eagle, ‘We need this like we need a hole in the head.’”

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

 

Quotable:

“People are not in a good mood when any politician’s face appears on television.”

— political satirist Mark Russell, who was born on this day in 1932


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