Brooklyn Boro

December 22: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

December 22, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1918, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “It looks like a greenback Christmas for the theaters. With the influenza gone, the war no longer to be worried over, and everybody, consequently, in the mood for celebration, the theater managers have cast aside the mask of tragedy and donned that of comedy, with its broad grin. People are flocking to theaters. To the play-producer, ever on the lookout for something besides himself to blame his failures on, the war and the influenza have been a great boon. The disappearance of these famous alibis leaves him once more on his own resources. But the play-producer is no chicken-hearted gambler, and, with his accustomed temerity, he is setting out with the coming of Christmas and a new year to plunge again. He is as much a connoisseur of silver linings as he is of excuses, and now he has descried a decided silver lining. His discovery is evidenced by the fact that no less than ten new plays are scheduled for production this week. The play-producing industry is again in full swing.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1929, the Eagle reported, “It is estimated that more than $8,000,000 has been expended on improvements to Fulton St. department stores. These include complete interior reconstruction of the Frederick Loeser & Co. building and the installation of new display windows and entrances; the construction of the first unit in the new Abraham & Straus building program, which cost in the neighborhood of $7,000,000; the addition to the A.I. Namm store at Fulton and Hoyt Sts., which has added 15,000 square feet to the establishment; and the construction of the addition to Martin’s store, corner of Fulton and Bridge Sts., adjoining the main building, and known as Men’s Corner. ‘The completed 1929 building program of Abraham & Straus marks another advance in the growth and development of Brooklyn,’ Simon Rothschild, president of Abraham & Straus, said in commenting on the building. ‘Primarily, we are desirous of extending our service to the shopping public of Brooklyn. In so doing, we are, however, once again paralleling our growth with the growth of Brooklyn.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “HOLLYWOOD (U.P.) — The yuletide season is supposed to herald peace and quiet on earth, but the holidays in Hollywood are as dizzy as the rest of the year. Decorations, for example, include a mink Christmas tree. This item stands in a store, Bullock’s Wilshire, and is made of 350 Brown Ranch mink skins worth $25,000. Later it will be made into five coats, and no other Christmas tree can make that statement. Eva Gabor plans to sprinkle sequins on her tree. Lou Costello has put up his annual decoration of a huge Santa climbing down his chimney. On the roof is a ‘Merry Christmas’ electric sign so bright the neighbors complain they can’t sleep. A former high-class upholstered saloon now features a nine-foot lighted Madonna. The owner of the old Trocadero, closed for years, said he put up the shrine outside the empty club to bring a bit of cheer to the gaudy Sunset strip.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — The Weather Bureau will decide next month whether to continue using girls’ names to identify hurricanes, a spokesman said today. Norman R. Hagen, public information officer, averred the decision will be made at a closed meeting of Weather Bureau, Navy and Air Force officials on plans for the 1955 hurricane season. The exact date has not been set. Hagen said the bureau has been getting a lot of mail on the subject of hurricane names since three tropical storms, dubbed Carol, Edna and Hazel, wreaked havoc along the east coast last fall. Some of the writers object that the use of feminine names for viciously destructive winds is insulting to womanhood or unfair to real women with the same names. Others protest that the practice opens the door to inappropriate levity and wisecracks about storms that are very grim business to the victims. But Hagen said the ‘overwhelming majority’ of the letter writers ‘want the present hurricane naming system continued.’ For reasons which Hagen, as a mere male does not try to fathom, the most vigorous defenders of the present system seem to be women, and especially women whose names have been bestowed on hurricanes.”

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Jordin Sparks
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Meghan Trainor
John Shearer/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Pretty Woman” star Hector Elizondo, who was born in 1936; former N.Y. Mets pitcher Jerry Koosman, who was born in 1942; Baseball Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, who was born in 1944; journalist Diane Sawyer, who was born in 1945; former L.A. Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey, who was born in 1948; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), who was born in 1948; Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Guy, who was born in 1949; former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lonnie Smith, who was born in 1955; “Schindler’s List” star Ralph Fiennes, who was born in 1962; U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who was born in 1970; “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks, who was born in 1989; and “All About That Bass” singer Meghan Trainor, who was born in 1993.

Jerry Koosman
Frank Franklin II/AP

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CENTER STAGE: Giacomo Puccini was born on this day in 1858. The native of Tuscany composed the beloved operas “La Boheme” (1896), “Tosca” (1900), “Madama Butterfly” (1904) and “Turandot” (1924). He died in Belgium in 1924.

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WATERMARK: The Lincoln Tunnel opened on this day in 1937. Designed by Ole Singstad, the 1.5-mile tunnel under the Hudson River connects Midtown Manhattan with Weehawken, N.J. It is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and its three tubes carry a combined average of more than 112,000 vehicles a day.

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

 

Quotable:

“Humanity is the keystone that holds nations and men together. When that collapses, the whole structure crumbles.”

— Baseball Hall of Famer Connie Mack, who was born on this day in 1862


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