Brooklyn Boro

December 14: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

December 14, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1913, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The ‘shameful neglect on the part of the city and borough officials’ in allowing the magnificent Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park to stand useless was again called to the attention of the public at the recent meeting of the Society of Old Brooklynites, when a resolution was adopted instructing the monument committee of the society to make a thorough investigation and ascertain, if possible, why the authorities have failed to make this monument, which is one of the most interesting and impressive in the whole city, a real attraction. Some of the speakers, who expressed great indignation over the way in which the Martyrs monument has been neglected, pointed out that Brooklyn, alert and progressive in many lines of civic development, has failed to take advantage of the splendid opportunity to make this monument — which cost $200,000, and which should be a national shrine of patriotism — a source of pride to citizens, a point of unusual interest to visitors and an inspiration and stimulating influence in the life of the borough.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1939, the Eagle reported, “GENEVA (U.P.) — The League of Nations, moving at unprecedented speed, today expelled Soviet Russia because of the invasion of Finland. The vote for expulsion by the League Council was unanimous, although four nations abstained from casting ballots. The abstaining nations were China, Finland, Greece and Yugoslavia. The final move in the League machinery came after the Assembly had unanimously voted an expulsion resolution and forwarded it to the Council … Finland abstained from voting to avoid further antagonization of Russia and possibly to prevent increased military retaliation, Rudolf Holsti, Finland’s representative, said … Telling the delegates that the move against Russia had the ‘full support of the United Kingdom,’ Richard Austin Butler, undersecretary for foreign affairs and head of the British delegation, said: ‘The case we are considering today is the latest link in the chain of aggression in Europe. It follows hard on the attacks by Germany against her weaker neighbors, such as the Czechs and the Poles – whose cause we shall not forget.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle said, “Reports from Cincinnati say the Brooklyn Dodgers are going to sign Sandy Koufax, former Lafayette High School baseball and basketball star. Koufax, an 18-year-old University of Cincinnati southpaw pitcher, is being sought by almost every club in the majors. The Dodgers are reportedly offering the Brooklyn scholastic star a $20,000 bonus contract. Buzzy Bavasi, Dodger vice president, said the Cincinnati story was premature. ‘It is true that we are interested in Koufax but that is all I can say now,’ said Bavasi. According to published reports in Cincinnati, the Dodgers are scheduled to close the deal Saturday. Koufax, a 200-pounder, fanned 34 men in two consecutive games last spring, pitching against Wayne University and the University of Louisville. As a freshman he won 3 and lost 1 for the varsity team, striking out 51 batters in 32 innings. He walked 30 and allowed 16 hits and 10 earned runs.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1962, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (UPI) — For 42 minutes this afternoon, the Mariner 2 spacecraft will penetrate the age-old mystery of Venus and report whether the bright planet is a dead world or the possible abode of life. Climaxing a 109-day, 182 million-mile flight from Cape Canaveral, the 447-pound craft will pass within about 21,000 miles of Venus at 3:01 p.m. EST. At that moment of closest approach to Venus, Mariner will be about 36 million miles in straight line distance from the earth and cruising at 88,400 miles an hour on a curving path around the sun. Mariner 2 already has transmitted the greatest amount of information ever gleaned about magnetic fields, charged particles, cosmic dust, and solar winds in interplanetary space. It already has smashed all records for long-distance radio communications. It has performed the first successful course-correction maneuver in deep space. Today’s brush with Venus will mark the nearest approach ever made by a spacecraft to one of earth’s planetary neighbors.”

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Vanessa Hudgens
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Natascha McElhone
Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include singer and actress Abbe Lane, who was born in Brooklyn in 1932; former Walt Disney Company president Michael Ovitz, who was born in 1946; International Tennis Hall of Famer Stan Smith, who was born in 1946; Baseball Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, who was born in 1965; “The Evil Dead” actor Ted Raimi, who was born in 1965; “The Truman Show” star Natascha McElhone, who was born in 1969; singer-songwriter Beth Orton, who was born in 1970; journalist Rebecca Jarvis, who was born in 1981; “High School Musical” star Vanessa Hudgens, who was born in 1988; and “Nobody Love” singer Tori Kelly, who was born in 1992.

Craig Biggio
David J. Phillip/AP

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VITAL SIGNS: Nostradamus was born on this day in 1503. The French physician, best remembered for his astrological predictions, was born Michel de Notredame at St. Remy, Provence, France. Many believed that his book of prophecies actually foretold the future. He died in 1566.

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FAREWELL TO A FOUNDER: George Washington died on this day in 1799. The commander in chief of the Continental Army and the first president of the U.S. died at his home at Mount Vernon, Va., at age 67. He had battled a sudden acute respiratory infection and had been bled four times. “I die hard, but I am not afraid to go,” were his famous near-dying words. He was mourned throughout the U.S. and in Europe.

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

 

Quotable:

“Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country.”

— U.S. President George Washington, who died on this day in 1799


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