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May 26: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

May 26, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1918, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON, MAY 25 — “‘The United States has in Europe today the largest army every transported overseas by any nation in the history of the world,’ General Peyton C. March, chief of staff, told members of the House and Senate Military Committees in the weekly conferences on Friday and today. While it is forbidden to give exact figures, it can be told that the total number now exceeds 650,000 men. Secretary of War [Newton D.] Baker announced on April 24 that there were more than 500,000 men in France. A month has intervened since that time. An idea of the number of additional troops that have gone over is contained in the statement of Representative [Charles Pope] Caldwell of New York that 90,000 troops were embarked during the first ten days of May. Another criterion of the rapidity with which troops are being moved is the fact that more than 600,000 draft men have been summoned to camp during April and May, most of them replacing men who have been moved to embarkation camps and placed aboard ship. More than 200,000 Americans will be sent abroad during May and that number probably will be much exceeded next month, members of the Senate Military Committee were told today at their weekly conference with Secretary Baker and his assistants.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1933, the Eagle reported, “Suggestions for the immediate curtailment of the use of firearms were advanced yesterday by Fiorello H. LaGuardia, former representative, in an address before a conference group of the Association for Federal Control of Firearms. The meeting, at the Hotel Astor, was the initial gathering of the organization which, under the leadership of Edwin Markham, poet, proposes to influence public opinion in favor of government control of the manufacture, sale and traffic of machine guns, rifles and revolvers. LaGuardia declared the only obstacle in the way of such federal regulation is the ‘selfish interests of arms companies.’ He said it was possible under existing laws to absolutely forbid the manufacture of machine guns and to require the licensing of manufacturers of other weapons, providing a strong organization urged such measures. Carl Sherman, former state attorney general and one of the organizers of the association, branded the Sullivan Law as ‘a total loss’ and attacked the ‘wholesale licensing which has come about under it.’ ‘There is nothing new in this problem,’ he said. ‘Every person in the country recognizes firearms as the chief prop of organized crime but, according to police authorities, the regulation of manufacture cannot be dealt with by states. We need federal control.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1943, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — President [Franklin] Roosevelt today directed all government agencies to limit the use of official automobiles ‘to the conduct of pressing and immediate official business’ because of the East coast gasoline shortage. In a directive to all department heads, the president said that ‘in view of the acute shortage of gasoline, every possible step must be taken to conserve dangerously depleted reserves in the East.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1950, Eagle columnist Constantine Brown wrote, “The administration now is discussing the possibility of sending — in addition to Marshall Plan aid — some assistance in the form of vital war materials to the 450,000 combat forces on Formosa [Taiwan], the last Chinese Nationalist stronghold. This reported change of heart on the part of the White House and State Department is said to have resulted from two factors, one military strategy, the other domestic politics. Ever since the question of help to the Nationalists to save Formosa was raised last year, the military has advocated support of the Nationalist forces. Their views were set aside by their civilians superiors, who decided this country had better cut all ties with the losing side. The Joint Chiefs of Staff pointed out, however, the merit in the views forcefully expressed by General MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in the Pacific. He has pointed to the serious consequences for our strategy in the Pacific if Formosa falls to the Reds.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — President Roosevelt’s refusal to compromise his judiciary reorganization program threatens to cause bitter fighting within the Democratic party, congressional sources asserted. The ultimate outcome, they indicated, may decide whether Democratic senators elected in a Roosevelt landslide can defy the party leader and get away with it. The so-called ‘rebel’ Democrats come up for re-election next year. A bloc of the president’s most powerful congressional leaders have made a determined effort to avert party strife, which they believe is likely if the court bill is pressed to a showdown. They have failed so far, although there has been no indication that Mr. Roosevelt himself desires a party ‘purge’ in the next elections.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “LAKE SUCCESS (U.P.) — Arab officials reported today that the Arab League had decided to reject the United Nations cease-fire appeal for Palestine unless the Jews revoke their proclamation of the new State of Israel. The Arab spokesmen said the Arab reply had been sent today from Amman, Trans-Jordan, and would reach U.N. headquarters later today. The condition reportedly laid down by the Arabs — dissolution of the 11-day-old Jewish state — would be unacceptable to the Jews. The United States, Russia and probably some other members of the council were reportedly ready to press for sterner Security Council measures to halt the fighting in Palestine. Security Council discussion of the next step was deferred at a morning meeting until the Arab League reply reaches the U.N. Angered by the Arabs’ use of a 48-hour extension of the original U.N. deadline for strengthened attacks on Jerusalem, Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok cabled the council that his government would have to ‘reconsider’ its earlier acceptance of the council’s request. This pessimism led to private talk of sterner Security Council measures. American delegate Warren Austin told the council Saturday that if the mild cease-fire appeal did not work, he would revive the once-rejected American demand for naming the Arabs aggressors and opening the door to forceful U.N. intervention.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “The FBI today arrested 11 leaders of the fanatical Puerto Rican Nationalist party, including two who live in Brooklyn, on charges of plotting to overthrow the United States government by force and violence … FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr. said in a joint announcement in Washington that six of the others were arrested in Chicago, two in Manhattan and one in Puerto Rico. Simultaneously, they announced, sedition charges were filed against six Nationalist Party men already in custody, including four who sent a flurry of bullets into the House of Representatives on March 1, wounding five congressmen.”

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Lenny Kravitz
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP
Helena Bonham Carter
John Furniss/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include sportscaster Brent Musburger, who was born in 1939; The Guess Who drummer Garry Peterson, who was born in 1945; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac), who was born in 1948; “Foxy Brown” star Pam Grier, who was born in 1949; “Miami Vice” star Philip Michael Thomas, who was born in 1949; singer-songwriter Hank Williams Jr., who was born in 1949; N.Y. Jets Ring of Honor member Wesley Walker, who was born in 1955; “Independence Day” star Margaret Colin, who was born in Brooklyn in 1958; “General Hospital” star Genie Francis, who was born in 1962; “Are You Gonna Go My Way” singer Lenny Kravitz, who was born in 1964; Oscar-winning actress Helena Bonham Carter, who was born in 1966; “South Park” co-creator Matt Stone, who was born in 1971; singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill, who was born in 1975; and “CSI” star Elisabeth Harnois, who was born in 1979.

Stevie Nicks
Charles Sykes/AP

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BEST OF THE WEST: John Wayne was born in this day in 1907. For five decades, “The Duke” was the quintessential Western actor, starring in such classic films as “Stagecoach” (1939), “Red River” (1948), “The Searchers” (1956) and “True Grit” (1969), the latter for which he won an Oscar. His advice on acting was to “talk low, talk slow and don’t say too much.” He died in 1979.

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FEVER PITCH: Peggy Lee was born on this day in 1920. She got her start singing on a Fargo, N.D., radio station and was soon hired by Benny Goodman to sing with his band. Known for her simple, jazzy style as well as her sex appeal, her biggest hits were “Fever” (1958) and “Is That All There Is?” (1969). She is perhaps best remembered for the songs she co-wrote and performed for Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp.” She died in 2002.

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

 

Quotable:

“Even the best intentions turn around one day. Nobody’s right all the time.”

— Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stevie Nicks, who was born on this day in 1948


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