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March 17: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

March 17, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1843, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “This morning our quiet city was the scene of an unusual row and disturbance. It being St. Patrick’s Day, some evil disposed person or persons, who are not yet known to the police, thought fit to erect an effigy of St. Patrick on the cupola of the Eastern Market, in High St., between Gold and Jackson streets, for the purpose of deriding the feelings of a large portion of our population. When this fact was made known to those whom it was designed to affect, a large number — a hundred or two, perhaps — of them assembled, and, as might be supposed, being in a state of great excitement, immediately took measures to demolish, not only the effigy, but also the market house. They had commenced cutting down the cupola with an axe, and were doing all the damage they could conveniently, when some of them proposed setting it on fire, and this they would probably have done, had not the Sheriff opportunely arrived with a sufficient police force and put a stop to the proceedings. We believe no other damage was done except a few broken heads and about fifty dollars’ injury to the market house. Four of the rioters were taken into custody, and after the evidence had been heard against them, gave bail for their appearance at the next term of the Court, when the matter will be presented by the Grand Jury.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — Four more non-Communist nations were invited today to join the North Atlantic Security Pact and diplomatic quarters looked for prompt acceptances. The bids were presented to the foreign minsters of Italy, Denmark, Portugal and Iceland by American envoys who acted on behalf of the eight nations now included in the pact. The four prospective members were told that if they accepted the invitations they could participate in the formal signing ceremonies the first week in April. The treaty text will be made public tomorrow at 11 a.m. Diplomatic quarters said the mere fact that the four nations had been invited into the pact implied that they already had indicated they would welcome the bid. Announcement of the move to broaden the North Atlantic alliance into a 12-nation bloc was made simultaneously here and in Western Europe. A joint communique said: ‘Invitations have today been issued on behalf of the governments of Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States to the governments of Denmark, Iceland, Italy and Portugal to join in signing the North Atlantic Treaty during the first week in April.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “Brooklynites who camped by their TV sets to witness the first televised atom blast missed the actual explosion today because even the eye of the camera had to be shielded from the horrendous sight. There was a moment of blankness on the screen while an ominous voice counted off the seconds, and the blankness lasted until the camera focused on the towering mushroom which has become the symbol of this era. Familiar as the sight now has become, it was still worth being late for work today to view the seething smoke cloud. Eight years had robbed the atom bomb of none of its impact on the imagination.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON — Angry charges were swapped by the United States and Russia yesterday because of warplane incidents over Alaska and the Caribbean. The State Department said that two Soviet planes flew over Southwestern Alaska Friday in ‘the first clearly established incident of a Soviet overflight of the United States.’ The department, which filed a protest note with the Soviet Foreign Ministry in Moscow, charged that the Red craft penetrated 30 miles into Alaska in a 30-minute intrusion before they were chased back to Siberia by U.S. jet fighters. Meanwhile, the Soviet newspaper Water Transport alleged that a U.S. plane buzzed the Russian motorship Stanislavsky in the Caribbean. The charges come on the heels of a previous Red protest that U.S warships fired on a Soviet trawler off the Virginia coast.”

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Patrick Duffy
Matt Sayles/AP
Mia Hamm
Andrew Dampf/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include journalist and activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, who was born in 1933; Apollo 16 astronaut Ken Mattingly, who was born in 1936; baseball player and manager Cito Gaston, who was born in 1944; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Sebastian (The Lovin’ Spoonful), who was born in 1944; “Dallas” star Patrick Duffy, who was born in 1949; “Escape from New York” star Kurt Russell, who was born in 1951; “Forrest Gump” star Gary Sinise, who was born in 1955; “NewsRadio” star Vicki Lewis, who was born in 1960; “St. Elmo’s Fire” star Rob Lowe, who was born in 1964; Smashing Pumpkins founder Billy Corgan, who was born in 1967; Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur, who was born in 1972; National Soccer Hall of Famer Mia Hamm, who was born in 1972; singer-songwriter Grimes, who was born in 1988; “Star Wars” star John Boyega, who was born in 1992; and swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky, who was born in 1997.

Gary Sinise
Ron Edmonds/AP

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BREXIT IN BEANTOWN: Today is Evacuation Day, which is celebrated as a holiday in parts of Massachusetts. On March 17, 1776, British forces under Gen. William Howe evacuated Boston after Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army fortified Dorchester Heights in early March. Held in tandem with St. Patrick’s Day festivities, Evacuation Day was declared a holiday in Boston in 1901.

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MARCH ORDER: Gen. George Washington gave his troops a well-earned rest on this day in 1780. In Morristown, New Jersey, the general issued an order that St. Patrick’s Day was to be commemorated as a show of solidarity with the Irish people who also wanted freedom from British rule. It was the Continental Army’s first day of rest in more than a year.

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

 

Quotable:

“May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”

— Irish blessing


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