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August 17: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

August 17, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1898, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Senator Thomas C. Platt has expressed his views upon the political situation from his standpoint. He says he has not reached any determination as to who would be the best man for the Republican convention to nominate. So far as he is concerned, he does not care who the man is, so long as he is a strong man who can win. With reference to Governor [Frank S.] Black, he said from a political standpoint Black was entitled to a renomination, provided he had the elements of strength which would bring victory. That was a question that was being considered and which, when determined, would lead either to his renomination or rejection. The talk for [Theodore] Roosevelt will not die down despite the assertions of the colonel that he is not and will not be a candidate. Some of his friends yesterday obtained 20,000 buttons upon which were a rakish picture of the colonel with his military hat on his head and the motto, ‘Our Teddy for Our Governor.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1913, the Eagle reported, “The State of New York has entered upon a vast scheme of improving its inland waterways, reaching from Lakes Erie, Ontario and Champlain to the seaboard with a view of securing the transportation of the products of the western and northwestern sections of this continent through her territory to the Atlantic. After adopting a plan for deepening and widening the canals of the state and appropriating $108,000,000 for the purpose, it was discovered that the expenditure of this large sum of money would not of itself be the means of attracting the business desired unless it was supplemented with such terminals (especially at the seaboard) that would furnish the facilities for the transshipment of cargoes as expeditiously and cheaply as could be done at any and every competing port. The Legislature of 1909, therefore, created a commission of experts, with large powers for investigating the entire subject of terminals both in this and foreign countries and after two years of exhaustive research they reported back a comprehensive plan for terminals which included what they termed as a ‘Subport’ for the port of New York, to be located at Jamaica Bay and which they declared necessary in order to make the whole state canal project a success.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1933, the Eagle reported, “KINGS POINT, L.I. — In the waters of Manhasset Bay a school of sharks eight to ten feet long has made its temporary headquarters. Chief of Police Thomas P. McNamara has warned all whom it may concern, especially bathers and boatmen. Testimony of a dozen witnesses heard by the police chief agreed that wicked sharks’ fins have been seen flicking through the bay, and not one at a time but several. It is the first time sharks have been sighted here in 15 years. There are ten incorporated villages on the edge of Manhasset Bay and McNamara sent out his warning to all of them to take proper precautionary measures. Sgt. Howard DeMott of the new marine division of the county police went out in a speedboat to warn bathers on public and private beaches.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “WOODS HOLE, MASS. (U.P.) — Scientists eventually will create life in a test tube, a Harvard biologist said today. Dr. George Wald predicted a mixture of proper ingredients under proper conditions will produce life. ‘The day will come when we will put together the necessary things and make a living organism … When the biochemist will find under his microscope a little blob of something alive,’ he said. It won’t be a ‘live being’ recognizable by the layman. And it may not survive or reproduce. But, Wald said, the ‘thing’ will be alive — created by a scientist without the process of birth. It may even consume something, like a grain of sugar.”

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Belinda Carlisle
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Robert De Niro
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Oscar-winner Robert De Niro, who was born in 1943; Oracle Corporation co-founder Larry Ellison, who was born in 1944; “Valley Girl” director Martha Coolidge, who was born in 1946; “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, who was born in 1949; guitar virtuoso Eric Johnson, who was born in 1954; Go-Go’s co-founder Belinda Carlisle, who was born in 1958; “The Corrections” author Jonathan Franzen, who was born in 1959; Oscar-winner Sean Penn, who was born in 1960; “Blue Bloods” star Donnie Wahlberg, who was born in 1969; International Tennis Hall of Famer Jim Courier, who was born in 1970; former N.Y. Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, who was born in 1971; Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gay, who was born in Brooklyn in 1986; and figure skater Gracie Gold, who was born in 1995.

Jorge Posada
Kathy Willens/AP

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FULL STEAM AHEAD: Robert Fulton began the first American steamboat trip on this day in 1807. The 150-mile journey from Albany to New York City took 32 hours. Although detractors labeled his efforts “Fulton’s Folly,” his success allowed him to begin commercial service the following year.

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IRON GIANT: New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig played in his record-breaking 1,308th consecutive game on this day in 1933, passing former Yankees shortstop Everett Scott. Gehrig played in 2,130 straight games before his career was cut short by illness in 1939. He died on June 2, 1941 at age 37. Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. broke Gehrig’s record in 1995.

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

 

Quotable:

“People tend to view history as if it were another planet and think the modern world was invented in 1963. I don’t agree.”

— “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, who was born on this day in 1949


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