Brooklyn Boro

August 28: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

August 28, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1903, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Frederick L. Olmsted, the famous landscape architect, died today at Waverly, Mass., aged 81 years. He was the designer of Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Central Park in Manhattan … In 1857 work on Central Park was begun, and the designing and planning of the scheme by which a wild waste of rock and barren land was transformed into one of the most delightful of metropolitan pleasure grounds were put wholly in Mr. Olmsted’s hands … When Prospect Park was planned, Mr. Olmsted showed that the construction of an ideally natural park or the most complete approximation that could be attained within city boundaries to such a park, was as easily possible with him as the more artificial establishment which had been the foundation of his fame.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1904, the Eagle reported, “Within a few weeks the New York subway will open for the transportation of the people of the greater city and its suburbs. When the new railway, about which so much has been said and written, is in full operation, vast as the undertaking will be shown to have been, the consciousness will arise in one who has followed the work of the Rapid Transit Commission that this is the mere beginning of a stupendous public enterprise, in which cost and labor are to be minor considerations. Under the direct supervision of the Rapid Transit Commissioners three other mammoth underground projects are now being carried forward. The principal one of these is the tunnel of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which will extend from Weehawken, N.J., under the Hudson River, below the surface of Manhattan along Thirty-first, Thirty-second and Thirty-third streets, and under the East River to Long Island City.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1931, the Eagle reported, “New York’s school children will receive an extra ten days vacation if the Board of Education acts upon the suggestion today of Dr. Shirley W. Wynne, Health Commissioner. The schools are scheduled to open Sept. 14. Commissioner Wynne probably will recommend to the Board of Education that the opening of the schools be delayed as an ‘extra precautionary measure’ against infantile paralysis. It was indicated at a meeting of the medical advisory board Monday, at which members of the New York County Medical Society and representatives of the Board of Education were present, that the date for the opening of the schools would be determined by the reports of the past week. ‘Previous experience,’ Dr. Wynne said, ‘leads us to believe that the outbreak has reached its peak and is now on the decline. In the past, September usually has brought the end of an epidemic.’ For the past 24 hours ending this morning, 53 new cases were reported, bringing the total since the first of the year to 2,613. There were seven new deaths, increasing the fatalities to 300. Thirty of the new cases were reported in Brooklyn.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1952, the Eagle reported, “Another link to Brooklyn’s glorious past today adorns the face of a red-brick building in Red Hook in the form of a bronze plaque, marking the site of Fort Defiance, a redoubt of the American Revolution. Donated by the Todd Shipyards Corporation, the plaque was unveiled yesterday at Dwight and Beard Sts., Erie Basin, amid colorful dedicated ceremonies presided over by James A. Kelly, borough historian. According to the plaque, Admiral Lord Richard Howe, during the Battle of Brooklyn, on Aug. 27, 1776, ordered the British man-of-war Roebuck to attack Fort Defiance in Red Hook. ‘This attempt to pierce Gen. George Washington’s line of forts failed,’ the plaque states, ‘when the long cannons of the American Redoubt forced the enemy ship to withdraw.’ The military significance of this sharp, decisive battle was stressed by Kelly, who said: ‘Had Lord Howe been successful in bringing the Roebuck past Fort Defiance, to be joined later by other units of his fleet, placing his armada between Brooklyn and Manhattan, General Washington would have been unable to save the American Army by amphibious operation, and we here today would not be enjoying the privileges we now enjoy as free men.’”

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Florence Welch
Greg Allen/Invision/AP
Shania Twain
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include former N.Y. Yankees outfielder and manager Lou Piniella, who was born in 1943; “Starsky & Hutch” star David Soul, who was born in 1943; former N.Y. Yankees pitcher and 1978 A.L. Cy Young winner Ron Guidry, who was born in 1950; Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove, who was born in 1952; “Home Alone” star Daniel Stern who was born in 1957; figure skater and Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton, who was born in 1958; “American Pie” star Jennifer Coolidge, who was born in 1961; “From This Moment On” singer Shania Twain, who was born in 1965; “School of Rock” star Jack Black, who was born in 1969; Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who was born in 1969; “Beverly Hills, 90210” star Jason Priestley, who was born in 1969; “Angel” star J. August Richards, who was born in 1973; “How Do I Live” singer LeAnn Rimes, who was born in 1982; “Shake it Out” singer Florence Welch, who was born in 1986; and “Beasts of the Southern Wild” star Quvenzhane Wallis, who was born in 2003.

Jack Black
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

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A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR: The first radio commercial was broadcast on this day in 1922. WEAF in New York ran a spot which was sponsored by the Queensboro Realty Corporation of Jackson Heights to promote Hawthorne Court, a group of apartment buildings. The commercial rate was $100 for 10 minutes.

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JUSTICE DENIED: Emmett Till was murdered on this day in 1955. The 14-year-old African-American from Chicago was visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi, when he was killed by a group of white men angry at his reported flirtation with a white woman. The Till murder and the acquittal of two of the men involved focused the nation’s attention on racial tensions in the South and helped spark the civil rights movement.

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

 

Quotable:

“The gate of heaven is very low; only the humble can enter it.”

— Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was born on this day in 1774


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