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March 11: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

March 11, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1923, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “With only four more days left before all those owing income tax to Uncle Sam, the people of Brooklyn have thus far shown no special initiative and, in fact, are somewhat lax in paying their taxes. Last night a staff of twenty five clerks worked on the second floor of the Federal Building until 6, and according to a statement made by John Cooper, chief deputy collector, the number of receipts filed to date is about the same as was filed for the corresponding date last year. An eleventh-hour rush is expected by Collector Rafferty, who has announced that for the first three days this week the offices of the Income Tax Bureau will be kept open until 9, and that on Thursday operations will not be suspended until midnight. Besides the number of clerks working with inquiring citizens in aiding them to make out their tax returns, there is a large staff of clerks in the mailing department, and according to Chief Cooper, Monday morning will witness the largest amount of mail received this year.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1940, the Eagle reported, “LONDON (AP) — Great Britain and France have informed Finland that they are ready ‘to proceed immediately and jointly to the help of Finland’ with ‘all available resources’ if the Finnish government should ask for ‘further aid,’ Prime Minister [Neville] Chamberlain told the House of Commons today. Later a statement from his office said that ‘the Prime Minister desires to make it clear that no appeal for further aid has yet been received from the Finnish government.’ Chamberlain refused to answer a question if Britain was ‘proposing to send troops to Finland’ and ‘if so, are they preparing to violate the neutrality of Norway and Sweden in doing so.’ As to whether further British-French help for Finland — the Allies already are sending material aid — would be tantamount to going to war against Russia, Chamberlain said: ‘We have not arrived at that yet.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “Dr. Charles Slesser, director of the Division of Technical Information and Declassification Service of the New York Operations Office, Atomic Energy Commission, said last night that atomic energy would be used industrially, possibly within the next eight to 10 years, and predicted it would first be used practically on large naval vessels. Speaking at a meeting of the Engineers Club held in its clubhouse, 117 Remsen St., Dr. Slesser stressed, however, that the time of the use was ‘largely guesswork because some of the paramount engineering problems have yet to be worked out.’ He explained that nuclear fission would first be used economically on large naval vessels because a minimum amount of U-235, a form of uranium, is necessary for chain reaction. Then in turn it must be shielded by material weighing, according to present estimates, from 50 to 100 tons to protect personnel. These factors would eliminate its use on a smaller scale.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “The epidemic of Asian Flu has ended, the Health Department revealed yesterday. The outbreak that had kept the city in its grip since about the first of the year passed below the epidemic level last weekend, a department spokesman said. Relative ‘normalcy’ in the number of pneumonia and flu fatalities should be achieved in ‘another week or so,’ the spokesman told the Eagle. No exact figures were readily available as to the total number of epidemic fatalities. However, the spokesman declared that about 60 pneumonia and influenza deaths a week are ‘normal’ for this time of year. Pneumonia and influenza death statistics are usually lumped together because influenza or A-Flu, while not a killer by itself, can lead to pneumonia or other possibly fatal ailments. The city’s epidemic was described as ‘average’ in its effect and well below the 1957-58 epidemic in which some 10 percent of the city’s population, 750,000 persons, suffered flu attacks.”

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Bobby McFerrin
Scott Gries/Invision/AP
Becky Hammon
Darren Abate/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who was born in 1931; journalist Sam Donaldson, who was born in 1934; “Animal House” star Mark Metcalf, who was born in 1946; Vanilla Fudge co-founder Mark Stein, who was born in 1947; “Don’t Worry Be Happy” singer Bobby McFerrin, who was born in 1950; producer and director Jerry Zucker, who was born in 1950; music producer Jimmy Iovine, who was born in Brooklyn in 1953; “ER” star Alex Kingston, who was born in 1963; “Patriots Day” director Peter Berg, who was born in 1964; “Stay” singer Lisa Loeb, who was born in 1968; former N.Y. Yankees outfielder Bobby Abreu, who was born in 1974; basketball player and coach Becky Hammon, who was born in 1977; basketball player Elton Brand, who was born in 1979; and “American Beauty” star Thora Birch, who was born in 1982.

Peter Berg
Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

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A WORLD IN CRISIS: The first cases of “Spanish” influenza were reported in the U.S. on this day in 1918 when 107 soldiers became sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. By the end of 1920, nearly 25 percent of the U.S. population had been infected. As many as 500,000 civilians died from the virus, exceeding the number of U.S. troops killed abroad in World War I. Worldwide, more than 1 percent of the global population, or 22 million people, had died by 1920. The origin of the virus was never determined absolutely. The name “Spanish” influenza came from the relatively high number of cases in that country early in the epidemic. Due to the panic, cancellation of public events was common and many public service workers wore masks on the job. Emergency tent hospitals were set up in some locations due to overcrowding.

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

 

Quotable:

“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”

— author Douglas Adams, who was born on this day in 1952


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