Brooklyn Boro

May 19: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

May 19, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1860, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The nomination of Mr. Lincoln by the Republicans is unquestionably a strong one. The party rejected Mr. Seward, because, while he was the most perfect representative of the party, he also has the greatest number of enemies to the most assailable points in his career. Experience has proved how much influence may attach to a popular catchword, and ‘honest Abe’ will doubtless be the burden of many a speech and song before election time. Mr. Lincoln, it will be recollected, was the nominee of the Republicans in opposition to Mr. Douglas in the contest for the United States senatorship, in which he was defeated. He however succeeded in carrying a majority of the popular vote.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1919, the Eagle reported, “The fifty-third annual report of the Brooklyn Children’s Aid Society has just been issued, and exhaustively covers the work of the organization during the year. The work during the influenza epidemic is compared with the society’s efforts during the infantile paralysis epidemic in 1916. Temporary shelter was given to many cases among the poor people of the borough during the epidemic, especially in cases where parents had fallen ill of the disease and where there were children in the family. Many children were ‘placed out’ or put in boarding places during the epidemic and thus saved from the ravages of the disease. Others have been sent to farms and country places where they can work and build up their little bodies.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — An angry Senate rebellion and the possibility of further Supreme Court retirements moved President Roosevelt’s court reorganization to the brink of defeat today. Mr. Roosevelt stood pat against compromise. But the possibility of further vacancies on the high bench tended to bolster the courage of those Democrats who would welcome almost any escape from a showdown vote on expansion of the court. Their strategy is delay. Some of Mr. Roosevelt’s leaders conceded that he would drop his plan if two more conservatives joined Associate Justice Willis Van Devanter in retirement. It appeared to non-partisan observers that one more retirement would junk the expansion bills utterly.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “Facing a pile of questions in the city mayoralty mixup, District Attorney [William] O’Dwyer is due back from California next Thursday at the latest — sooner than originally expected. Although his stand remains a mystery, his early arrival adds point to the fact that his backers are now organizing on a citywide basis. Assemblyman Philip J. Schupler, an ardent supporter of the district attorney, is acting, with orders, on the assumption that Mr. O’Dwyer will announce his candidacy for the post he sought in vain in 1941. Another angle to be cleared up is whether Representative Donald L. O’Toole of Bay Ridge will run in the Democratic primaries for borough president against the incumbent, John Cashmore.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “TEL AVIV (U.P.) — Jewish army troops have regained the initiative in bitter hand-to-hand fighting against Arab Legionnaires in the old walled city of Jerusalem, official Israel sources said today. These sources scoffed at reports circulated in some Arab capitals that King Abdullah’s Arab Legion had received the surrender of all Jewish troops in Jerusalem and controlled the entire city. Instead, military authorities have claimed, the Jews broke into the old city through the Zion Gate on the southern boundary, and now are carrying the fight to the Arabs. But there was no inclination here to overlook the fact that the plight of Jews in Jerusalem is desperate, and that unless Jewish reinforcements can get through soon they may not be able to hold out. The fighting in the old walled section of the Holy City really is a battle within a battle, since Arab forces, mostly of the Arab Legion, ring all Jerusalem and are pressing at Jewish positions in the modern quarters of the city.”

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Grace Jones
Michel Euler/AP
Kevin Garnett
Mary Altaffer/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Fitch, who was born in 1932; original “Good Morning America” host David Hartman, who was born in 1935; “Flower Drum Song” star Nancy Kwan, who was born in 1939; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Pete Townshend (The Who), who was born in 1945; “Conan the Destroyer” star Grace Jones, who was born in 1948; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dusty Hill (ZZ Top), who was born in 1949; College Football Hall of Famer Archie Manning, who was born in 1949; former Yankees catcher and broadcaster Rick Cerone, who was born in 1954; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Phil Rudd (AC/DC), who was born in 1954; computer scientist and Java designer James Gosling, who was born in 1955; former New York Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer, who was born in 1957; and Basketball Hall of Famer and former Brooklyn Net Kevin Garnett, who was born in 1976.

Bill Laimbeer
Jessica Hill/AP

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IN THE DARK: On this day in 1780, at midday, near total darkness unaccountably descended on much of New England, causing many people to believe that doomsday had arrived. In New Haven, Connecticut, Col. Abraham Davenport opposed adjournment of the town council by saying, “The day of judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for an adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.”

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TRANSFORMATION: Malcolm X was born on this day in 1925. The black nationalist and civil rights leader was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska. While serving a prison term, he resolved to transform his life. Upon his release in 1952, he changed his name to Malcolm X and worked for the Nation of Islam until he was suspended in 1963. He later made a pilgrimage to Mecca and became an orthodox Muslim. He was assassinated as he spoke at a meeting in the Audubon Ballroom in New York City on Feb. 21, 1965. 

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

Quotable:

“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”
— Malcolm X, who was born on this day in 1925


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