Brooklyn Boro

December 28: ON THIS DAY in 1947, 100,000 city employes ordered out to remove record-breaking snow

December 28, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1933, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Official installation of the new administration at Borough Hall will take place at 3:30 p.m. New Year’s Day, Borough President-elect Raymond V. Ingersoll announced today. Customarily the installation takes place in the morning, but the hour was changed this year to permit a Board of Estimate meeting then. No written invitations to attend are being distributed, Mr. Ingersoll said. The ceremony will be brief and open to all who care to attend. It will consist of a formal transfer of the office by Borough President [Peter] Carey to Mr. Ingersoll, the official appointment of the latter’s assistants and the induction of the latter by Supreme Court Justice [John] MacCrate. Preceding the installation there will be a musical program in the rotunda by the Knickerbocker Little Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of J. Edward Powers.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “In the waning hours of his 12-year reign at City Hall, Mayor [Fiorello] LaGuardia today was running up against the stiffest opposition of his career involving two of his fondest dreams — completion of Idlewild Airport and construction of a huge terminal market in downtown Manhattan. The City Council yesterday struck from the capital budget two items, totaling $55,000,000, for the projects, and precipitated an open break between the mayor and his successor, William O’Dwyer. Mr. LaGuardia, in a radio address, pleaded with Mr. O’Dwyer for support in a move to restore the budget items and got for a reply a stern rebuff. The Council, with three members not voting, eliminated from the budget $45,000,000 for hangars and an arcade building at the municipal airport on Jamaica Bay, and $10,000,000 for preliminary work on the wholesale fruit and vegetable market. Both items were struck out on recommendation of Park Commissioner [Robert] Moses, who has been named by Mr. O’Dwyer as co-ordinator and expediter of the city’s postwar public works program.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1947, the Eagle reported, “New York City yesterday summoned 100,000 of its employees — all able-bodied males in all city departments — to emergency duty as snow shovelers. It was an unprecedented summons to meet the unprecedented emergency of the record-breaking post-Christmas snowfall, half a foot greater than the blizzard snow of ’88. With many streets still blocked and surface transportation moving at a snail’s pace or not at all, Police Commissioner [Arthur] Wallander, as head of the Mayor’s Board of Planning and Operation, broadcast this call to city workers over the city radio station, WNYC, at 1 p.m. and periodically thereafter: ‘All able-bodied employees of city departments other than Police or Fire Departments not on active duty in connection with the storm are directed to contact their departments and report to their local Department of Sanitation posts.’ Police and Fire Department people were excluded since they were already in one way or another subject to storm duty. A Police Department spokesman said that, out of 150,000 city employees, the call would affect 100,000, the rest being women employees and men in the two excepted departments.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “Top C.I.O. Transport Workers Union brass huddled with Mayor-elect [Robert] Wagner in the Manhattan Municipal Building today to discuss a fact-finding committee agenda to avert a threatened New Year’s strike on the city’s transit lines. Today’s conclave was with Michael J. Quill, fiery international T.W.U. head, and three Local 100 officers, Matthew T. Guinan, president; Ellis Van Riper, secretary-treasurer; and John O’Donnell, general counsel. The union has already accepted the new mayor’s proposal that the dispute over its $50,000,000-a-year package demands be handed over to fact-finders. The Transit Authority has also accepted the Wagner plan.”

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Nichelle Nichols
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP
Denzel Washington
Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Star Trek” star Nichelle Nichols, who was born in 1932; Oscar-winner Maggie Smith, who was born in 1934; musician Edgar Winter, who was born in 1946; “It’s Raining Men” singer Martha Wash, who was born in 1953; TV personality Gayle King, who was born in 1954; Oscar-winner Denzel Washington, who was born in 1954; Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, who was born in 1960; former N.Y. Mets outfielder Benny Agbayani, who was born in 1971; NFL placekicker Adam Vinatieri, who was born in 1972; talk show host Seth Meyers, who was born in 1973; “Ordinary People” singer John Legend, who was born in 1978; former tennis player James Blake, who was born in 1979; and “American Sniper” star Sienna Miller, who was born in 1981.

Sienna Miller
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

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NOW PLAYING: On this day in 1895, the Lumiere brothers — Louis and Auguste — projected short films for paying customers at the Grand Café in Paris. This was the first time this had ever been done and is considered a key moment in film history.

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HAND ON HEART: On this day in 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance and urged its frequent recitation in America’s schools. The pledge was composed in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister. At the time, Bellamy was chairman of a committee of state school superintendents of education, and several schools adopted his pledge as part of the Columbus Day quadricentennial celebration that year. In 1954 the Knights of Columbus persuaded Congress to add the words “under God” to the pledge.

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

 

Quotable:

“Science is not a boy’s game, it’s not a girl’s game. It’s everyone’s game. It’s about where we are and where we’re going. Space travel benefits us here on Earth. And we ain’t stopped yet.”

— “Star Trek” star Nichelle Nichols, who was born on this day in 1932


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