Brooklyn Boro

September 20: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

September 20, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1947, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Former Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia died at 7:22 a.m. today at his Riverdale home. The turbulent life of the man who kept New York City intrigued while he was directing its destinies for 12 years ended without his awakening from the deep sleep which enveloped him finally yesterday morning. At no time since he collapsed Tuesday night had Mr. LaGuardia regained full consciousness, although he had aroused sufficiently a few times to take some nourishment, the last time yesterday morning. Last night his physician, Dr. George Baehr, reported at 8:30 that the former mayor was sinking rapidly and it appeared he would not live more than two hours. But the typical LaGuardia tenacity was in evidence to the last — he lived nearly 12 hours more. Dr. Baehr had remained at the bedside of the 64-year-old former mayor all night. Early this morning another attending physician, Dr. Meyer J. Karsh, hurried off to a hospital for a supply of a special drug in a futile effort to save his life. At the bedside when death came were the former mayor’s wife, Marie; his adopted children, Jean, 18, and Eric, 16, and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Elsie Fisher. Outside in the chill morning air, a lone policeman paced the dead-end street. A block away from the quiet hillside home at 5020 Goodridge Ave., reporters sat huddled in a car. Even pedestrian traffic stopped last night. Icemen, milkmen, newspaper deliverers and others who normally drive their trucks into the street to serve nearby homes made their deliveries on foot, parking their vehicles a block or more away, although police had not made any requests that they do so.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “Striking pilots of National Air Lines, Inc., participated in the christening of one of the company’s DC-6 passenger planes as The Brooklyn Dodger yesterday at Idlewild International Airport by having one of their number skywrite the word ‘scab’ in smoke directly overhead. The christening was the high point of ceremonies marking the beginning of flight operations by the airline at Idlewild. Some 200 persons were present at the ceremonies. Mrs. Dorothy Reese, wife of Harold (Pee Wee) Reese, the Brooklyn Dodger shortstop, was the sponsor, using a baseball to break a ribbon-covered bottle of beer suspended outside the pilot’s cabin of the DC-6. Before she did so, Mack Gilmur, a striking National Air Line pilot, flew a Vultee B-13 10,000 feet above the field and did his smoke writing, while on the ground 40 pickets, including a number of pilot members of the Air Line Pilots Association, A.F.L., marched with picket banners. They said they were protesting against the company’s refusal to rehire striking pilots as recommended by a Presidential Emergency Board on July 9. The company has continued operations with non-union pilots in the seven months since the strike was started.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (U.P.) — Red China served notice on the West in general and the United States in particular that she will make a formal and determined bid for United Nations membership in the ninth General Assembly session, opening here tomorrow. The Chinese Communist regime stated its intentions in an official Peiping Radio broadcast. Soviet Russia, which will be Red China’s principal support in the fight for UN recognition, promptly backed the Chinese plan in an article in the Soviet Communist party paper, Pravda. Both charged that only ‘the absurd obstructionist policy of the United States blocks Red China’s membership’ in the world body. Neither the announcement of Chinese intentions nor the propaganda blasts came as any surprise. And the United States is confident it can — with support of its Western allies — again bar Red China from the UN in what likely will be a sharp but short clash — probably tomorrow. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, backed by pledges of support from Britain and other Allies, was ready to block Communist efforts to give Red China the Nationalists’ seat. The United States anticipated that Soviet Delegate Andrei Y. Vishinsky will demand a seat for the Peiping regime at the start of the annual session, perhaps before the 60-nation Assembly chooses its new president.”

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Gary Cole
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
George R. R. Martin
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Oscar-winning actress Sophia Loren, who was born in 1934; “A Song of Ice and Fire” author George R. R. Martin, who was born in 1948; Styx co-founder Chuck Panozzo, who was born in 1948; Hockey Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur, who was born in 1951; “Office Space” star Gary Cole, who was born in 1956; Thompson Twins co-founder Alannah Currie, who was born in 1957; TV journalist Deborah Roberts, who was born in 1960; Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, who was born in 1966; “3rd Rock from the Sun” star Kristen Johnston, who was born in 1967; Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd, who was born in 1969; “Blade” star N’Bushe Wright, who was born in Brooklyn in 1969; former N.Y. Mets outfielder Jason Bay, who was born in 1978; former NFL return specialist Dante Hall, who was born in 1978; “American Idol” champion Phillip Phillips, who was born in 1990; and former N.Y. Islanders captain John Tavares, who was born in 1990.

Sophia Loren
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

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RED-LETTER DAY: Red Auerbach was born in Brooklyn on this day in 1917. As coach of the Boston Celtics from 1950 to 1966, he won nine NBA titles, including eight straight from 1959 to 1966. After he retired from coaching, he was either general manager or president of the Celtics from 1966 to 1997. He was team president from 2001 until his death in 2006. In 1980 he was named the greatest coach in NBA history by the Professional Basketball Writers Association and is widely considered to be the best sports executive in history.

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SHARK WEEK: “Happy Days” jumped the shark on this day in 1977. On the popular ABC TV comedy, cool guy Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli, in his trademark leather jacket, went water skiing in Los Angeles and jumped over a shark — a gimmick at odds with the show’s normal action. “Jumping the shark” has now become a term to describe engaging in an outlandish stunt in a desperate bid for popularity that signals a creative decline.

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

 

Quotable:

 

“Mistakes are a part of the dues one pays for a full life.”

— screen legend Sophia Loren, who was born on this day in 1934


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