August 2: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

August 2, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1871, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The dismissal of the assistant sanitary inspectors, on the ground that their services as extra public vaccinators are no longer required, is one of the most gratifying pieces of local news we have lately had to communicate. It proves not only that the Health Department is now averse to spending more money than is necessary, but that, in the judgment of the experienced medical head of the department, the danger of the smallpox contagion, which has so afflicted our city for many months past, is now over.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1896, the Eagle reported, “SEA BRIGHT, N.J., AUG. 1 — The excitement of the week — and real excitement it was, too — was the capture of a huge man-eating shark, which became entangled in the pound nets … He died soon after they landed him. He measured 16 feet in length and his weight was calculated at about 1,200 pounds. The big fellow had damaged the nets so badly that the fishermen decided to make him pay for his work as far as possible, so they placed him on exhibition in a small tent on the beach in the rear of the Octagon hotel, and before many hours had passed they had secured enough dimes from the interested summer visitors to almost buy a new net. There is absolutely no doubt about his being a man-eater and, with the exception of the whale once captured at Atlantic City, he is the largest fish ever brought to shore on the New Jersey coast.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1898, the Eagle reported, “The formal opening and official test of the pneumatic mail tubes of the New York Mail and Newspaper Transportation Company between Brooklyn and Manhattan occurred yesterday afternoon. Officials of the company, postal employees, and about 200 invited guests gathered in the distributing room of the Post Office in this borough to witness the test. It was a complete success. The first carrier was shot off just two minutes before 4 o’clock. It contained the cards of the invited guests with several ‘Roosevelt for Governor’ buttons, which some enthusiastic politicians had dropped in. Reply from the New York office showed that it had made the trip in a trifle over three minutes.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “LYNCHBURG, VA. (U.P.) — The Lynchburg lifesaving crew has added a new course to its curriculum. The course is, ‘What to do when an atomic bomb falls.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “GRAFENWOEHR, GERMANY (U.P.) — The United States soon will base an all-jet air striking force in Germany and will maintain its ground forces at present strength ‘ready for any emergency,’ the visiting U.S. chiefs of staff disclosed today. Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Air chief of staff, and Gen. Omar N. Bradley, Army chief of staff, told newsmen here that there will be no cutback in the air and ground forces with which America will back up the commitments in Europe under the Atlantic Treaty. The only exception, Vandenberg said, will be the Berlin airlift. That is being scaled down drastically now that the Soviet blockade of western land and water routes to Berlin has been lifted. Vandenberg said the recently regrouped fighter force in Germany soon will be entirely equipped with jet planes. He said the propeller-driven Thunderbolts, which were America’s first-line fighters at the end of World War II, are being retired.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “TOKYO (U.P.) — Red China’s top general warned today that the Chinese Communists will invade Formosa [Taiwan] and boasted the island will be ‘liberated’ without interference. ‘We will absolutely not allow other countries to interfere,’ Gen. Chu Teh, army commander-in-chief, said in a propaganda broadcast over Radio Peiping. Chu said the threatened invasion of Formosa and ‘liquidation’ of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s ‘brigands’ were Red China’s own internal affairs. He complained that Formosa was being protected by armed forces of the ‘imperialist United States.’”

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Simone Manuel
Charlie Neibergall/AP
Mary-Louise Parker
Ron Eshel/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include former Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, who was born in 1939; “The House of the Spirits” author Isabel Allende, who was born in 1942; “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” star Joanna Cassidy, who was born in 1945; talk show host and writer Dennis Prager, who was born in 1948; Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner, who was born in 1951; “The Munsters” star Butch Patrick, who was born in 1953; “The Alienist” author Caleb Carr, who was born in 1955; “Nevermind” producer Butch Vig, who was born in 1955; “Purple Rain” star Apollonia Kotero, who was born in 1959; “Weeds” star Mary-Louise Parker, who was born in 1964; “Clerks” director Kevin Smith, who was born in 1970; “Avatar” star Sam Worthington, who was born in 1976; former N.Y. Jets safety Kerry Rhodes, who was born in 1982; and swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel, who was born in 1996.

Sam Worthington
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

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SIGNATURE MOMENTS: Contrary to misconceptions, the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence did not sign as a group on July 4, 1776. Congressional President John Hancock and Secretary Charles Thomson signed only draft copies that day. About 50 men signed the official document on Aug. 2 and the rest signed separately later on.

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BY THE NUMBERS: The U.S. Census was inaugurated on this day in 1790. New York, with 33,131 residents, was the largest city. Legally mandated by the Constitution, the Census takes place every 10 years.

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

 

Quotable:

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

— writer James Baldwin, who was born on this day in 1924


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