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August 15: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

August 15, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1867, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Although the pre-announced grand meteoric display was postponed, there was still observed an unusual number of these eccentric members of the celestial system. At Central Park there were seen, from 9 p.m. of the 11th until 4 a.m. of the 12th, one hundred and ninety-eight meteors, some very brilliant.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — The world today entered a new era of peace in which Gen. Douglas MacArthur summarily ordered Japan to send representatives to Manila to receive Allied surrender terms. He acted as supreme Allied commander. MacArthur is expected to announce that Japan will sign on her home soil or in territorial waters — perhaps Tokyo Bay. Radio Tokyo announced the resignation of Premier Kantaro Suzuki’s war cabinet shortly before MacArthur’s order was dispatched. Suzuki’s war minister already was a suicide. American forces were ordered to cease offensive action last night. Tokyo broadcast to Japanese troops at midnight (1 p.m. Wednesday Japanese time) the announcement of agreement to surrender. MacArthur’s message also ‘directed’ the Japanese immediately to cease hostilities. But Admiral Chester W. Nimitz announced that Japanese planes approached the U.S. 3rd Fleet after 3 a.m. Wednesday. Five were shot down. It was not immediately clear whether the attacks were continuing. Nimitz asked MacArthur to tell the Japs that we will shoot down any planes approaching our fleet. President Truman announced Japan’s agreement to unconditional surrender last night at 7 o’clock. There arose from the vast homelands of those who love democracy a shout heard round the world.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1950, the Eagle reported, “LONDON (U.P.) — A princess who may be queen some day was born to Princess Elizabeth today in a massive cream-colored mansion at the middle of London’s royal half mile of ornate palaces. Four doctors who attended Elizabeth at the birth of her second child announced in a medical bulletin that both she and the newborn princess were doing well. The girl, third in line of succession to the throne after her mother and her brother, Prince Charles, was born at 11:50 a.m. (6:50 a.m. Brooklyn time). Guns boomed a royal salute and thousands waiting in a chill drizzle outside Clarence House thundered a cheer when a bulletin announcing the birth was posted on the gates of the mansion where Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, live.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON, AUG. 14 (U.P.) — Many more ‘Rastvorov-like’ former Russian spies who broke with their Kremlin masters will be produced soon to tell their stories, U.S. officials said today. Informants disclosed this in the wake of the dramatic appearance yesterday of former Soviet spy Yuri A. Rastvorov at a State Department news conference. Rastvorov asked for and was granted asylum in the United States. Since he broke with Red Russia last January, he has been telling all he knows about the Soviet’s world-wide spy network. Top-level officials said he had given U.S. and Allied authorities ‘highly important’ information on Red spy activities. They said ‘action’ already had been taken against an unidentified number of Soviet agents operating in this country. Officials also reported that other former Soviet agents now held by the United States and Allied governments will be brought forward when secret questioning of them has been completed.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “‘Space Ships on Parade’ will be the theme of the weekly fireworks show at Coney Island Tuesday evening starting at 9 o’clock. Flaming rockets will flash through Coney Island skies in multiple streaks, while red and green fleets of space ships will spread out in great aerial convoys. A storm in space, with a deluge of meteorites cutting swaths of gold in the path of the ships, will light up the Coney skies in a spectacular bombardment. Thunderous volleys of green and blue fire will ricochet into outer space.”

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Anthony Anderson
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Jennifer Lawrence
Francois Mori/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who was born in 1938; Songwriters Hall of Famer Jimmy Webb, who was born in 1946; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tom Johnston (The Doobie Brothers), who was born in 1948; former Minnesota Twins manager Tom Kelly, who was born in 1950; Anne, Princess Royal, who was born in 1950; Space Shuttle astronaut Scott Altman, who was born in 1959; philanthropist Melinda Gates, who was born in 1964; “Veronica Mars” creator Rob Thomas, who was born in 1965; N.Y. Yankees World Series hero Scott Brosius, who was born in 1966; “Will & Grace” star Debra Messing, who was born in 1968; “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson, who was born in 1970; Oscar-winner Ben Affleck, who was born in 1972; “Species” star Natasha Henstridge, who was born in 1974; singer and actor Joe Jonas, who was born in 1989; and Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, who was born in 1990.

Ben Affleck
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

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SHIP-SHAPE: The Panama Canal officially opened on this day in 1914 after 10 years of construction and much multinational diplomacy. A self-propelled crane boat had made the first passage through the canal, a 50-mile waterway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, on Jan. 7, 1914. The first ocean steamer, the SS Ancon, passed through on Aug. 3, 1914.

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HIGH TIMES: The Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened on this day in 1969. The three-day rock concert, which took place in an alfalfa field in Bethel, N.Y., featured more than 30 acts and drew a crowd of more than 400,000 people. Performers included Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Who.

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

 

Quotable:

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”

— writer Walter Scott, who was born on this day in 1771


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