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May 25: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

May 25, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1902, a Brooklyn Daily Eagle editorial said, “Every year the little band of men in blue grows smaller in the North, every year the squads of men in gray grow smaller in the South; every year the variants in faith those colors stood for grow slighter, and every year the breach that opened along Mason and Dixon’s line grows fainter. What a many bodies fill that breach! Not bodies of men shot in battle, but of men who died peacefully since battles were fought; men who lived long enough to preach love to their sons, forgiveness to their enemies. The hates and heart burnings that followed the ruin of the South, that came of the liberation of human chattels whose chattelage was ended in tears and fire, these have grown less, too, and although the unreconstructed rebel survives, here and there, among the hills, even he does not refuse the title of American. It seems a slight thing to win out of the pain of death, this custom that gives the name of Decoration Day to one of our youngest holidays; yet there are meanings in it that make us thankful. Surely it is well that some fine and beautiful service shall come out of the years of darkness which overspread us forty years ago — overspread us like a visible cloud, trailing tears across the land. We look back on that time, we who remember it, as if the sun did not shine so bright in ’62 as it shines today.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1925, the Eagle reported, “Memorial services under the auspices of the Grand Army of the Republic of Kings County were held yesterday afternoon at the Lincoln Monument in Prospect Park. A procession of 20 Grand Army veterans, commanded by Grand Marshal Robert Forfar and led by Maj. John L. Gartland’s Veteran Military Band, marched from the Willink entrance of the park to the Lincoln statue, which was decorated with a wreath. Then the veterans proceeded to the music stand, where addresses were made by William Patton Griffith, chairman of the Memorial Day committee on public ceremonies; Dr. William L. Felter, principal of Girls High School, and Dr. Gilbert J. Raynor, principal of Alexander Hamilton High School. Dr. Felter, in his address, said that the greatest results of a war are often not imagined by the combatants at the outset. The freedom of the slaves was not foreseen at the beginning of the Civil War, he said, nor did America dream that the end of the World War would see her the leader of the nations of the world. It is important to remember, he declared, that had it not been for the Union Army of 1861 there would not have been a powerful United States to hold an important position in world affairs in 1925.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1934, the Eagle reported, “Suspension of tuberculin tests for cows, in an effort to forestall a shortage of milk, which was characterized today by at least two local medical experts as ‘silly’ and ‘amazing,’ likewise brought assurance from Commissioner of Health John L. Rice that New York City consumers would not be endangered. Dr. Alec Thomson, secretary of the Public Health Committee of the Kings County Medical Society, thought suspension of the tests — which is to go into effect June 1 by order of Commissioner of Agriculture Charles H. Baldwin — ‘silly,’ and agreed that, ‘It would be better to have no milk at all than milk from tubercular cows.’” And Dr. Harris Moak, bacteriologist and expert of the milk commission of the same society, called Commissioner Baldwin’s action ‘amazing,’ citing the fact that, ‘There is a high percentage of danger in milk taken from tubercular cows, even if it is passed through the process of pasteurization. The only safe and sure way is to be certain that the animal is not infected.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “TAIPEI, FORMOSA (U.P.) — Morale on Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s Formosan bastion is rising. Nationalist officials are talking about an invasion of the Communist-held Chinese mainland within the measurable future. The reason is that a number of the highest United States defense chiefs have visited Formosa, looking the situation over. Added to this is the strengthened American determination to stop the encroachment of Communism in southeast Asia.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (A.P.) — A high administration official reaffirmed today President Roosevelt’s ‘no compromise’ stand on Supreme Court reorganization. He said there was no indication the president would permit his court bill to be withdrawn or changed despite the fact the government has won 12 important cases and lost none before the high tribunal this year. He spoke after the court’s validation of social security legislation yesterday started widespread speculation as to whether the administration’s attitude toward its demand for new justices would change … The administration spokesman said that the court problem, as the administration views it, is not shown entirely in recent opinions. The labor standards legislation proposed to Congress yesterday, he said, someday will present a completely new issue to the court. A court with a larger group of recognized ‘liberal’ justices would go far toward assuring validation of this and other future administration laws, he said.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1942, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — An early statement may be expected from the White House on the feasibility of relieving the eastern gasoline and oil shortage by new pipelines and fuel barges, Senate Majority Leader Alben W. Barkley said today. He reported after a legislative conference with President Roosevelt that an investigation of the transportation problem was progressing. ‘There probably will be some statement right away,’ Barkley said, adding that he believed it would come from the White House. Maj. Gen. Thomas M. Robbins, assistant chief of army engineers, told a Senate Commerce Subcommittee today that 40,000 to 50,000 barrels of gasoline could be shipped daily from Florida to New Jersey over the existing inland waterways system if improvements are made. Robbins said east coast rationing ‘can be somewhat relieved’ by shipping petroleum from Corpus Christi, Tex., to Florida by way of the intercoastal waterways system, pumping the oil across Florida in a pipeline and then shipping the fuel from Jacksonville, Fla., to Trenton, N.J.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “CAIRO (U.P.) — Representatives of five Arab nations met today in Amman, seat of King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan, to frame the Arab answer to the United Nations plea for a ceasefire in the Palestine war. The fate of Jerusalem hung in the balance. Jews still control the modern city and are fighting desperately to hold it. A ceasefire now would leave them in possession. High Arab sources insist the Arab answer will demand that the Jews disarm and accept Arab sovereignty over the Holy Land. It is known the Jews will never accept such terms while they hold all the rich coastal plain and modern Jerusalem. The Arabs have until 1 p.m. tomorrow to answer. The original ceasefire deadline of 1 p.m. yesterday was extended 48 hours by the United Nations at the Arabs’ request.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “Brooklyn’s prior claim on the bridge that first linked the borough with Manhattan had one more support today with the unveiling of a monument on the Brooklyn side honoring the wife of the man who completed the historic project. Borough President [John] Cashmore reiterated Brooklyn’s ownership yesterday on the 70th anniversary of the span’s opening as he addressed an audience of 200 persons gathered near the Brooklyn tower of the bridge to witness the unveiling of a tablet in memory of Emily Roebling … The actual unveiling of the memorial was performed yesterday by Mrs. John A. Roebling 2nd, daughter-in-law of the man who began the work in 1867. The bronze tablet was donated by the Brooklyn Engineers Club. It commemorates the contribution of Emily Roebling, wife of Col. Washington A. Roebling, who took over the work of building the bridge from his father. When her husband was paralyzed at 35, he was able to supervise the construction through her.”

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Octavia Spencer
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Ian McKellen
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Oscar-winning producer and former Coney Islander Irwin Winkler, who was born in 1931; “X-Men” star Ian McKellen, who was born in 1939; “Roots” star Leslie Uggams, who was born in 1943; puppeteer and filmmaker Frank Oz, who was born in 1944; “Room 222” star Karen Valentine, who was born in 1947; Scorpions singer Klaus Meine, who was born in 1948; “The Vagina Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler, who was born in 1953; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who was born in 1960; former N.J. Nets guard Kendall Gill, who was born in 1968; “Six Days, Seven Nights” star Anne Heche, who was born in 1969; Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer, who was born in 1970; “28 Days Later” star Cillian Murphy, who was born in 1976; Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, who was born in 1978; and Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman, who was born in 1994.

Cillian Murphy
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

 

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FATHER’S DAY: The Constitutional Convention began in Philadelphia on this day in 1787. Among the delegates were George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and Elbridge Gerry.

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WORDS TO LIVE BY: Lyricist Hal David was born on this day in 1921. He and composer Burt Bacharach produced a sophisticated string of beloved songs, including “Walk on By,” What the World Needs Now Is Love,” “Close to You” and “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” He died in 2012.

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

 

Quotable:

“It is not the length of life, but the depth.”

— writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was born on this day in 1803


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