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August 31: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

August 31, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1913, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “A nationwide movement to reduce the cost of living by making oysters a staple article of diet has been started by the Oyster Growers and Dealers Association of North America. This organization, which includes in its membership the largest growers, packers and distributors of oysters in the United States and Canada, has set the week of October 20 as a national ‘Oyster Week,’ during which oysters and oyster dishes will be featured all over the land to acquaint the general public with the value of this bivalve as a meat substitute. At the recent convention of oyster men in New York, Dr. Carl L. Alsberg, head of the United States Bureau of Chemistry, gave the oyster a clean bill of health, saying that people ran less danger of ‘contracting typhoid fever from oysters than they do from drinking raw milk or the water supplied in many communities.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1924, Eagle columnist Frederick Boyd Stevenson wrote, “Said a business man who employs several hundred young men and young women, to me the other day: ‘The first question we ask the young people seeking employment here is: What newspaper do you read? On that answer hinges their chances of success.’ In other words, the newspaper of today is the character molder of the coming generation. It can guide the young men and the young women along lines of thought that will make men and women of them, or it can inculcate in them — insidiously and insistently — the germs of wrong thinking that will make of them insincere, inefficient, rattle-brained men and women, if it does not actually make crooks and wantons out of them. A newspaper does not have to be dull, stale, flat and unprofitable. Its business is to print the news. It has to take the news as it comes. If there are scandals, the readers are entitled to know about them. If there are murders or holdups or frauds in finance — they are all a part of the day’s work and play. One must not be a prude. But is it necessary for a newspaper to cater entirely to the sensual — to the sordid — the lowest edge of human thought in order to achieve journalistic success?”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1935, an Eagle editorial said, “The death of Queen Astrid in a motor accident in the Swiss Alps comes as a profound shock to the Belgian people who hold their royal family in such deep affection. The young Swedish princess had quickly won her way into the hearts of her subjects, both rich and poor, because of the deep interest she took in the victims of the depression in her adopted land and because of her simple democratic tastes and manners.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1935, the Eagle reported, “Scores of anxious telephone callers bombarding the office of Dr. Charles F. Bolduan, director of the Bureau of Health Education, with inquiries regarding the progress of infantile paralysis in the city were assured today the worst stage of the outbreak has already passed and that cool weather would bring a decline in the number of new cases. Field workers will be busy over the weekend checking on possible new cases and a report on paralysis cases will be made public on Tuesday, it was said. That no new serious outbreak is expected was indicated by the fact that many field workers were permitted to take weekend vacations, leaving only a skeleton force in the city. Brooklyn, it was revealed, has suffered the least of all the boroughs, with the exception of Richmond, in proportion to population, although Brooklyn had the largest number of cases.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1943, the Eagle reported, “While motorists in the city cheered, with distinctly restrained enthusiasm, the news that the pleasure driving ban would be lifted tomorrow, out in Suffolk County, farmers complained today that their trucks and tractors, even now under-supplied, would be made useless during the harvest season by lack of gasoline made available for pleasure jaunts. On hundreds of Suffolk farms, county rationing administrator Leslie T. Wells predicted, harvesting operations will be brought to a standstill in a few days unless the gasoline famine is broken — and instead the indication was that, with more gas being used for pleasure driving, it would be increased. The movement of crops and marine products would be impeded seriously.”

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Debbie Gibson
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Van Morrison
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Van Morrison, who was born in 1945; violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman, who was born in 1945; former N.Y. Giants coach and two-time Super Bowl champion Tom Coughlin, who was born in 1946; Scorpions founder Rudolf Schenker, who was born in 1948; “Pretty Woman” star Richard Gere, who was born in 1949; “Earth Girls Are Easy” star Julie Brown, who was born in 1954; Go-Go’s drummer Gina Schock, who was born in 1957; Squeeze co-founder Glenn Tilbrook, who was born in 1957; “Lost in Your Eyes” singer Debbie Gibson, who was born in Brooklyn in 1970; “Rush Hour” star Chris Tucker, who was born in 1971; and swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Ian Crocker, who was born in 1982.

Tom Coughlin
AP photo

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THE PARTY’S OVER: Solidarity was founded on this day in 1980. The Polish trade union was formed at the Baltic Sea port of Gdansk. It was outlawed by the Communist government and many of its leaders were arrested. Led by Lech Walesa, Solidarity persisted in its opposition to the Communists, and on Aug. 19, 1989, Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski astonished the world by nominating for the post of prime minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a former deputy in the Polish Assembly and editor in chief of Solidarity’s weekly newspaper, bringing to an end 42 years of Community Party domination.

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GOODBYE ENGLAND’S ROSE: Diana, Princess of Wales, and her companion Dodi Fayed died in a Paris car crash on this day in 1997. Although press photographers had been pursuing their car, French courts determined that the paparazzi were not responsible for the crash but rather a driver operating under the influence of alcohol. Diana’s funeral was watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people.

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

 

Quotable:

“Anywhere I see suffering, that is where I want to be, doing what I can.”

— Diana, Princess of Wales, who died on this day in 1997


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