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June 21: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

June 21, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1879, a Brooklyn Daily Eagle editorial said, “Judge Moore was yesterday called upon to sentence a young man, belonging to one of the most honorable professions, for a crime which has become so common, so remunerative, so fatal and so characteristic of this country that society feels bound to put it down at all hazards. This young man is a physician, and the crime he committed was that of attempting to commit an abortion. Not very long ago Judge Moore sentenced the principal offender in this particular case to ten years’ imprisonment. Dr. Wadsworth was yesterday permitted to escape with a term of one year, and the reason so much leniency was exhibited in this case is a good one. At the time when he yielded to the solicitation of the older and more guilty abortionist, who made a specialty of this crime, Dr. Wadsworth had failed to establish himself as a physician here. He was actually on the verge of starvation. Public opinion in these days no longer insists upon condemning the starving man who steals a loaf of bread to support life, or snatches a pocketbook away from some unsuspecting wayfarer. Condemning the act, it has become sufficiently enlightened to measure the temptation and the amount of resistance that can be given to it. Dr. Wadsworth succumbed to the temptation. Since that time he went into a distant country and established himself reputably. His offense was uncovered and he was brought back to meet his punishment. Considering the circumstances, Judge Moore gave him the minimum penalty. Heinous as his crime was, and necessary as it is to uproot the practice, the public will quite concur in the finding of the court and will hope that this punishment will be a warning, not only to Dr. Wadsworth but to other young men in his position, never to yield to temptation, no matter how dire may appear the alternative. To him who refuses to do wrong will eventually come aid and rescue from trouble, while the consciousness of wrongdoing, if no other punishment follows, will always be a source of self-reproach and remorse.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1942, the Eagle reported, “Many Brooklyn motorists will remain at home today due to the lack of gasoline at stations which will not be supplied until tomorrow. Long lines of automobiles waited at filling pumps yesterday. Some managed to fill their tanks, but many met with a disappointing ‘Sorry, no gas, buddy.’ William Couch, field secretary for the Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association, called the situation ‘serious’ and said there was no gas even for essential driving. Couch complained that permits for the opening of new stations had been granted since rationing went into effect. He added that if ‘the new stations can be opened, then the old established ones can be given additional gallons.’ The A&S Service Station at Howard and Pitkin Aves. reported yesterday that it had gas and supplied long lines of motorists. A similar report was given by the Alden Gas Station, 619 Coney Island Ave. The Atlas Service Station, at 310 Flatbush Avenue Extension, however, reported it had no gas and that it would not have a supply until tomorrow. The Love Lane Garage at 48 Love Lane said it expected to have a supply for today.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1951, the Eagle reported, “FBI agents today hunted four missing members of the Communist party’s ‘alternate hierarchy’ — one of them a Brooklynite — who may have gone underground. Indictments and arrests of hundreds of Red leaders throughout the country were expected in a follow-up to the indictment of 21 and seizure of 17 in yesterday’s roundup. The four still sought were members of the group that was prepared to take over leadership of the party as soon as the 11 members of the American ‘Politburo,’ their convictions on conspiracy charges upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, were packed off to jail. In connection with impending indictments of more Red leaders, Justice Department sources reiterated that the cases of 12,000 Communists were under study and that indictments were being sought in at least 43 federal districts.”

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Lana Del Rey
Georges Biard/Wikimedia Commons
Chris Pratt
Dick Thomas Johnson/Wikimedia Commons

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “The Love Boat” star Bernie Kopell, who was born in Brooklyn in 1933; “Goodnight, Beantown” star Mariette Hartley, who was born in 1940; “SCTV” star Joe Flaherty, who was born in 1941; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ray Davies (The Kinks), who was born in 1944; “Family Ties” star Meredith Baxter, who was born in 1947; “Family Ties” star Michael Gross, who was born in 1947; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joey Kramer (Aerosmith), who was born in 1950; former N.J. Nets center Derrick Coleman, who was born in 1967; “Cape Fear” star Juliette Lewis, who was born in 1973; “Smallville” star Erica Durance, who was born in 1978; “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt, who was born in 1979; former N.J. Nets forward Richard Jefferson, who was born in 1980; The Killers singer Brandon Flowers, who was born in 1981; Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, who was born in 1982; and “Young and Beautiful” singer Lana Del Rey, who was born in 1985.

Prince William
USAID/Vietnam/Wikimedia Commons

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SOLAR SOLITUDE: The first manned private spaceflight took place on this day in 2004. Michael Melvill, flying the privately financed SpaceShipOne, flew 62 miles in altitude, leaving Earth’s atmosphere. The spacecraft was designed by Burt Rutan and was financed by Paul Allen, philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder. SpaceShipOne made the flight from Mojave Airport in California.

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GET ON BOARD: Today is “Go Skateboarding Day.” Held since 2004, it was founded by the International Association of Skateboard Companies and is the official holiday of skateboarding. For more information, visit www.theiasc.org.

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

 

Quotable:

“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.”

— theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who was born on this day in 1892


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