Brooklyn Boro

May 18: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

May 18, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1852, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Fifty five tons of the novel known as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Mrs. Stowe, have been printed and sold within the last two months.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1860, the Eagle reported, “CHICAGO — Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, was nominated for President by the Republican Convention, on the third ballot.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1933, the Eagle reported, “More than 3,000 members of the Norwegian colony in Brooklyn celebrated the national Independence Day of Norway at a mass meeting held last night at the Second Naval Battalion Armory, 52nd St. and First Ave. Members of the various organizations of Norway paraded and drilled in the armory, after which there was a program of speeches in which Representative John Kvale of Minnesota, Consul General Wilhelm Morgenstierne of Norway, former Congressman Fiorello LaGuardia and Hult Wilson were principal speakers. ‘Many of the ideals of freedom for which we are striving in this country today are embodied in a workable manner in the constitution of Norway, framed 119 years ago,’ Kvale said. ‘We Americans must demand the right to govern ourselves and have the courage to face unpleasant facts, meeting them with the patience of the Norwegian people, with the same lack of meekness and cowardice that is traditional with them.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (A.P.) — Associate Justice Willis Van Devanter informed President Roosevelt today that he would retire from active service on the Supreme Court bench on June 2. The 78-year-old jurist, who has been known as a member of the conservative wing of the court, made his intention known in a letter to the president shortly before the Senate Judiciary Committee met to vote on Mr. Roosevelt’s court reorganization bill. Mr. Roosevelt immediately wrote a brief acknowledgement in long-hand, extending to the jurist ‘every good wish’ and inviting him to call at the White House before he leaves Washington … Chairman Ashurst (D., Ariz.) of the Senate Judiciary Committee told newspapermen the retirement ‘immensely promotes’ the prospects for passage of the president’s court reform bill, but Senator Wheeler (D., Mont.), opposition leader, demanded withdrawal of the bill. ‘There is absolutely no excuse for going ahead,’ he said.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1942, the Eagle reported, “The gasoline rationing program, which caused a drastic curtailment of motor traffic throughout the metropolitan area yesterday, today moved into its second phase when local boards began accepting applications for additional supplies of motor fuel and exchanged high for low ration cards. While motor traffic was estimated to have been 50 percent below normal on the first Sunday of individual gasoline rationing, officials predicted the reduction will be more pronounced and declared long pleasure trips were gone for the duration. Persons who believe that their present ration is inequitable may appeal to their local board, Lee S. Buckingham, state director of the Office of Price Administration, announced.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “TEL AVIV (U.P.) — Israel’s army captured the ancient walled city of Acre today but reports indicated that the plight of 100,000 Jews in Jerusalem was becoming desperate as Arab forces besieged the Holy City. In the fourth day of fighting since the British mandate in Palestine ended and the new Jewish State of Israel was proclaimed, Arab Legion troops occupied Bethlehem, birthplace of Christ. Egyptian planes raided Tel Aviv, Israel’s provisional capital, for the 13th time. Forces of six Arab nations — Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia — were reported fighting in the Holy Land. But Jews struck back strongly and their capture of Acre, where 4,000 Arabs penned in the old walled city surrendered, was militarily the most important victory reported today.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “ATLANTA (U.P.) — Dixie segregationalists today formed battle lines in an effort to preserve the south’s traditional color barriers despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision that segregation in the public schools is unconstitutional. The high tribunal issued its long-awaited document yesterday. It came after months of deliberating an issue regarded as the most vital affecting one region since Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The Supreme Court scheduled further arguments for next fall on vital issues connected with its unanimous decision and affected states were invited to submit additional briefs in the cases. Only after that will enforcement machinery be drafted. Thus, Negro and white students will not be going to school together in large areas of Dixie for perhaps many more years. The possibility of the long delay tempered reaction among white southerners which ranged from appeals for calm to blunt warnings that no court decision can overthrow segregation in the south.”

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Tina Fey
Mingle Media TV/Wikimedia Commons

Reggie Jackson
John Mathew Smith/Wikimedia Commons

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Dallas” star Priscilla Pointer, who was born in 1924; “Mad Men” star Robert Morse, who was born in 1931; “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” star Dwayne Hickman, who was born in 1934; Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson, who was born in 1937; Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, who was born in 1946; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Rick Wakeman (Yes), who was born in 1949; Country Music Hall of Famer George Strait, who was born in 1952; “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” star Chow Yun-fat, who was born in 1955; “Toy Soldiers” singer Martika, who was born in 1969; “30 Rock” star Tina Fey, who was born in 1970; former Mets pitcher and broadcaster Nelson Figueroa, who was born in Brooklyn in 1974; figure skating champion Polina Edmunds, who was born in 1998; and “Man with a Plan” star Hala Finley, who was born in 2009.

Chow Yun-fat
Sliceof/Wikimedia Commons

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IMMORTAL CLASSIC: “Dracula” was published on this day in 1897. Bram Stoker’s novel about an undead Transylvanian count has been adapted numerous times for film and TV and sired a genre that’s still bloody popular today.

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HOT SPOT: Mount St. Helens erupted on this day in 1980. The volcano in southwestern Washington blew steam and ash more than 11 miles into the sky, resulting in 57 deaths and more than $1 billion in property damage. It’s been called the most disastrous volcanic eruption in U.S. history. 

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

Quotable:

“I didn’t come to New York to be a star. I brought my star with me.”
— former N.Y. Yankees outfielder Reggie Jackson, who was born on this day in 1946


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