Brooklyn Boro

September 9: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

September 9, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1932, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Some 165 laughing and joking workmen at 8 a.m. today boarded the 92-foot steamer Observation, docked in the East River, at the foot of 134th St., happy in these times of depression that they were bound for their jobs helping to build the new $9,000,000 penitentiary on Rikers Island. Five minutes after the Observation had put out, there was a terrific blast aboard. For a few fatal minutes a white cloud of smoke hung ominously over the muddy waters of the East River. When it cleared, only a few pieces of wreckage remained of the craft. Frantic, cursing men struggled helplessly in the water among the dead and dismembered bodies of comrades. And New York Harbor chalked up its greatest disaster since the General Slocum tragedy. Today’s explosion occurred almost at the same place where the General Slocum burned with Brooklyn Sunday School picnickers in June 1904. The known dead this afternoon totaled 37. About 80 more were in hospitals, many of them not expected to live, and about 48 others were missing.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1933, the Eagle reported, “HAVANA (A.P.) — The residence of the American Consul at Cienfuegos was searched Tuesday night by 30 revolutionaries who were armed. They did no damage to the residence and uttered no threats against the occupants. Knox Alexander is the American Consul assigned to Cienfuegos and Edward S. Benet is the vice consul. Rumblings of a possible coup against a four-day-old Cuban junta, itself the product of revolt, grew today as 200 army officers were held virtual prisoners in the National Hotel.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1935, the Eagle reported, “Attendance at the city’s elementary and high schools was described by Board of Education officials as normal for the first day. No definite figures were available to show how many of the 1,200,000 pupils enrolled were present for the opening roll call this morning, but reports received at educational headquarters, 59th St. and Park Ave., Manhattan, indicate ‘no evidence of alarm by parents at the infantile paralysis scare,’ as had been anticipated, it was said. Meanwhile, it was announced, Superintendent of Schools Harold G. Campbell and Dr. Emil Altman, chief medical examiner, are spending the day visiting as many schools as possible to check up on general conditions. They are particularly interested in sanitary conditions. Children will not be penalized for absence today, although the absences will result in substantial reduction of the amount appropriated by the State toward school costs here. Such appropriation is based on average daily attendance and the cut in State aid expected will complicate the already grave budgetary problems of the Board of Education.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1952, the Eagle reported, “From east to west borders of Brooklyn today, outraged citizens raised the indignant cry for more cops to walk the streets on the prowl for criminals. On Brooklyn Heights, a group of residents, horrified by a Sunday-morning attack on a woman returning home, called for ‘action’ to save ‘our lives which are at stake.’ The ‘murderous rats who prowl the streets,’ they wrote to the Brooklyn Eagle, blackened the woman’s eyes, injured her nose and then — frightened off by her outcries which aroused an entire neighborhood — slunk away without robbing her. And it was 45 minutes before police, in a fast-moving patrol car, reached the scene, too late. And at the far-east end of the borough, the Cypress Hills Board of Trade charged that that part of town — including East New York and Highland Park as well as Cypress Hills — was ‘inadequately’ policed [and] was again and again bypassed when additional police were named. Following a Board of Trade meeting last night, at which a petition was adopted asking for better police protection of the area, a spokesman said: ‘There just aren’t enough police to cover the district, and what few there are travel in radio cars. If you want a cop, it takes 45 minutes sometimes — and, of course, by that time it’s too late.’”

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Michelle Williams
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Adam Sandler
Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Fiddler on the Roof” star Chaim Topol, who was born in 1935; “Mashed Potato Time” singer Dee Dee Sharp, who was born in 1945; former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann, who was born in 1949; “The Dukes of Hazzard” star Tom Wopat, who was born in 1951; “Lost in Space” star Angela Cartwright, who was born in 1952; Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart, who was born in 1952; “Four Weddings and a Funeral” star Hugh Grant, who was born in 1960; “Uncut Gems” star Adam Sandler, who was born in Brooklyn in 1966; model and actress Rachel Hunter, who was born in 1969; “Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet, who was born in 1971; “E.T.” star Henry Thomas, who was born in 1971; “ER” star Goran Visnjic, who was born in 1972; four-time Grammy winner Michael Buble, who was born in 1975; “Dawson’s Creek” star Michelle Williams, who was born in 1980; and “Supergirl” star Julie Gonzalo, who was born in 1981.

Eric Stonestreet
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

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BACK TO SCHOOL: “Welcome Back, Kotter” premiered on this day in 1975. The half-hour sitcom starred Gabe Kaplan as Gabe Kotter, who returns to his Brooklyn high school to teach “The Sweathogs,” a group of hopeless underachievers. Cast members included Marcia Strassman, John Travolta, Robert Hegyes, Ron Pailillo, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and John Sylvester White. The theme song, “Welcome Back,” was performed by John Sebastian and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 1976.

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TOP OF THE HEAP: The N.Y. Yankees clinched the American League East Division on this day in 1998 with a 7-5 win over the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. The Yanks had four future Hall of Famers on the field that night: manager Joe Torre, left fielder Tim Raines, closer Mariano Rivera and shortstop Derek Jeter, who was inducted yesterday. The game is also notable for one of the last appearances by Boston pitcher Dennis Eckersley, who retired after the season and was inducted into the Hall in 2004.

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

 

Quotable:

“You don’t just accidentally show up in the World Series.”

— Baseball Hall of Famer Derek Jeter


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