Brooklyn Boro

January 31: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

January 31, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
Share this:

ON THIS DAY IN 1915, Brooklyn Daily Eagle columnist Frederick Boyd Stevenson wrote, “Do you want to pay higher taxes? Do you want the present public services of the city cut down? Do you want all proposed future services that come with the growth of the greatest city in America eliminated? Do you want to prevent certain proposed future public improvements in the city? Do you want the city to go ahead in its present lines, or do you want it to go backward? The present condition of the city’s finances makes just one of two things imperative — the city must have more revenue, or there must be retrenchment. The increased income of the city must come from increased taxes — real or personal — or from other sources of revenue which the Mayor’s Special Tax Commissioners have been considering. On the one side there are the mayor and the city chamberlain and other city officials who are in favor of continuing and adding to the present work of the city and meeting the increased cost by increased revenues, and on the other side there are the controller and the borough presidents who are opposed to an increase in taxes — either direct or by the creation of other revenues through new sources. The mayor’s position will mean a continuation of work in the city along its present lines, including uplift and social activities. The controller’s position will mean retrenchment. In the final analysis, you will have to foot the bills. What is your position?”

***

ON THIS DAY IN 1946, the Eagle reported, “Mayor [William] O’Dwyer, who has learned a thing or two since he walked into City Hall at the start of this month, has decided to fight to keep his evenings to himself. He said as much today at a press conference, at which he reviewed his reactions to the job. He needs his evenings, he said, so that he can think things through on the city’s problems without outside distractions. This calls, of course, for a city representative who can sit in at dinners and other functions. In the last administration this task often was delegated to Newbold Morris as president of the City Council. Grover Whalen may get tapped for the job this time. The mayor said that he had adopted three points for guidance in his office. The No. 1 point, he said, is to concentrate on policy, with decisions based only on established facts. Decisions on policy are then turned over immediately to departments involved so that programs can be put into action. He said the program calls for systematic supervision to see that policy is carried out.”

***

ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (UPI) — Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara told Congress yesterday that about 17,000 Soviet military personnel still remain in Cuba and that they probably control the principal elements of the island’s air defense system. But he also said flatly that U.S. surveillance of the island ‘has not revealed the existence of strategic weapons systems’ there since the Soviets pulled out their medium range missiles in October. The statement appeared designed to contradict some refugee reports that the Russians still have offensive missiles hidden in Cuba. The secretary said the United States was convinced that the 42 IRBMs withdrawn from the island in the aftermath of the Cuban crisis were real missiles and not dummies. Appearing before a closed-door session of the House Armed Services Committee, McNamara said the present defense system in Cuba includes 24 surface-to-air defense missile sites, several coastal missile sites and about 40 MIG-21 jet fighters. The MIGs, he said, were in addition to more than 60 earlier versions of the same fighter previously sent to Cuba by the Russians. The presence of the Soviet military men in Cuba has been known to the administration since the October crisis. President [John] Kennedy said at a news conference last week that ‘We figure there are still approximately 16,000 or 17,000 Russians there’ and that they are continuing to operate the air defense missile sites.”

***

Kerry Washington
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Justin Timberlake
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include composer Philip Glass, who was born in 1937; “The Rockford Files” star Stuart Margolin, who was born in 1940; Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who was born in 1947; “A Different World” star Glynn Turman, who was born in 1947; Sex Pistols singer John Lydon, who was born in 1956; swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Shirley Babashoff, who was born in 1957; “Without a Trace” star Anthony LaPaglia, who was born in 1959; “Road House” star Kelly Lynch, who was born in 1959; news host Martha MacCallum, who was born in 1964; “Good Will Hunting” star Minnie Driver, who was born in 1970; “Arrested Development” star Portia de Rossi, who was born in 1973; former N.Y. Knicks forward Othella Harrington, who was born in 1974; “Scandal” star Kerry Washington, who was born in 1977; singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake, who was born in 1981; and singer-songwriter Marcus Mumford, who was born in 1987.

Nolan Ryan
Pat Sullivan/AP

***

BEST OF THE WEST: Zane Grey was born on this day in 1872. The Ohio native and prolific author of tales of the Old West wrote more than 80 books that were translated into many languages. He is best known for the novel “Riders of the Purple Sage” (1912). He died in 1939.

***

SECOND TO NONE: Jackie Robinson was born on this day in 1919. The Georgia native became the first African-American man to play major league baseball in the 20th century when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. He was named Rookie of the Year at the end of the season and was the National League MVP in 1949. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and died in 1972.

***

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

 

Quotable:

“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.

— Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who was born on this day in 1919


Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment