August 3: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

August 3, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1860, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “An unusual number of sharks have been seen in the lower bay the past fortnight, and this morning two were caught from Fulton market pier, East River, measuring five and three feet in length. Persons who are in the habit of bathing in the river will please take notice — that sharks are never troublesome in this latitude. Unless they are troubled, they are not likely to attack a swimmer. A boy in Williamsburg had his big toe bitten off the other evening while bathing. It must have been a shark with a delicate appetite, as sharks usually require a man’s leg for a meal, and swallow small boys whole.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1913, Eagle columnist Frederick Boyd Stevenson wrote, “If you want to see what the subways may do to Brooklyn, take a trip to Washington Heights, in upper Manhattan. Ten years ago old Broadway, Fort Washington road, Audubon avenue and other streets in that locality were lined with miniature forests and country estates. Today these thoroughfares are built up almost solidly with apartment and tenement houses and store buildings, six, seven, eight and ten stories high. Is that sort of thing going to change the building map of Brooklyn? The change may be desirable. And then again, it may not be desirable. It all depends upon the view you take. According to the belief of some men who have given this subject careful study, Brooklyn as a residential borough will, in a comparatively few years, become a thing of the past. They say you need not think for a moment that you are secure because you live in a restricted residential district, for most of the building restrictions here expire on or before 1925, and the high rate of increase in land values will result in your neighbors selling to builders who will erect congested structures.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1951, the Eagle reported, “Brooklyn was recovering slowly today from its first ‘atom bomb’ attack. The theoretical bomb burst in Flatbush, high above Ocean Ave. and Avenue H, at 7:55 o’clock last night. It was followed by other explosive and incendiary bombs elsewhere in the borough. Civil Defense personnel, leaping into action, were confronted with indescribable theoretical devastation. Minutes after the ‘atom bomb’ struck, the Borough Control Center and six Report Centers — locations withheld for security reasons — were alive with volunteer works assembling information and rushing help where it was most needed. The reports started coming in, by telephone and walkie-talking radio, in almost no time at all. Some of them were bad. Over an area within a one-mile radius from a point just below the ‘atom bomb’ explosion, all buildings, structures and installations of every kind were destroyed. It would be useless, and probably impossible, to send men or materiel there … Like the theoretical bombs, the rescue squads and such were also only theoretically dispatched. But it gave Civil Defense workers who participated an idea of what must be done should a real disaster strike.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — The United States stands ready to throw its military force against any attempt by Red China to invade Formosa, officials said today. They issued the warning in the face of stepped up demands recently by Red Chinese officials for Communist conquest of Formosa. The officials said the United States considers the Nationalist China stronghold of Formosa essential to America’s security and believes that it must remain in friendly hands. This country has no written agreement to help Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek protect his Nationalist government in case of attack. But officials said the United States has made it clear it intends to help Chiang and is willing to use armed force if necessary. The latest Red call for an invasion came two days ago from Gen. Chu Teh, commander-in-chief of the Communist Chinese army. ‘Taiwan [Formosa] has been our territory from ancient times,’ he said in a broadcast speech. ‘As long as the Chiang brigands are not thoroughly wiped out, so long as Taiwan is not liberated, our task of liberating the whole of China cannot be considered complete. We absolutely will not allow other countries to interfere.’”

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Evangeline Lilly
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP
Isaiah Washington
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Pro Football Hall of Famer Marv Levy, who was born in 1925; “Rags to Riches” singer Tony Bennett, who was born in 1926; “The West Wing” star Martin Sheen, who was born in 1940; businesswoman and TV personality Martha Stewart, who was born in 1941; “Animal House” director John Landis, who was born in 1950; “Dennis the Menace” star Jay North, who was born in 1951; “Scrubs” star John C. McGinley, who was born in 1959; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer James Hetfield (Metallica), who was born in 1963; “The 100” star Isaiah Washington, who was born in 1963; Salt-N-Pepa member DJ Spinderella, who was born in Brooklyn in 1970; seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, who was born in 1977; “Ant-Man and the Wasp” star Evangeline Lilly, who was born in 1979; and model Karlie Kloss, who was born in 1992.

James Hetfield
Amy Harris/Invision/AP

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BEYOND THE SEA: Christopher Columbus’ first voyage began on this day in 1492. The “Admiral of the Ocean Sea” set sail half an hour before sunrise from Palos, Spain, with three ships, Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, and a crew of 90. He sailed for “Cathay” (China) but found instead a New World of the Americas, first landing at Guanahani (San Salvador Island in the Bahamas) on Oct. 12.

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TEAMWORK: On this day in 1949, the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League completed a merger that created the National Basketball Association, which consisted of 17 teams. Today the NBA has 30 teams in 28 cities.

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

 

Quotable:

“War makes strange giant creatures out of us little routine men who inhabit the earth.”

— war correspondent Ernie Pyle, who was born on this day in 1900


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