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December 2: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

December 2, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1923, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “NAPLES, ITALY, DEC. 1 — A slight eruption of Mount Vesuvius is attracting the interest of tourists, especially the Americans, who are making excursions as near to the crater as possible. The sight is particularly impressive at night, when the top of the volcano, glowing brightly, emits burning stones, the emission being accompanied by detonations.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1935, the Eagle reported, “Dr. James H. Breasted, noted archeologist, who defied the curse of Tutankhamen, died early today in Presbyterian Medical Center. His was the 21st death which the superstitious have laid directly or indirectly to the invasion of the tomb of the ancient Egyptian monarch by the Earl of Carnarvon expedition in February 1923. ‘Death shall come on swift wings to him who toucheth a tomb of a Pharaoh,’ read the legend. Dr. Breasted was head of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. He was 70 years old … One of the discoverers of the tomb of King Tutankhamen, Dr. Breasted had frequently ridiculed the curse. Before he sailed several months ago he was asked about it. ‘Tommyrot!’ he exclaimed. ‘I defy the curse. And if anyone was exposed to it, I was. For two weeks I slept in the tomb of Tutankhamen and took my meals there. I never felt better.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1944, the Eagle reported, “LONDON (U.P.) — The mightiest battleship in Britain’s fighting fleet, a super-dreadnought embodying the experience of five years of war, has been launched and is now being rushed to completion for action against the Japanese navy, it can be revealed today. The Admiralty withheld all information on the speed, armament and even the name of its new warship. The 1943-44 edition of Jane’s Fighting Ships lists four new battleships of the Lion class laid down in 1939, displacing more than 40,000 tons and reportedly equipped with nine 16-inch guns and rated at 30 knots or better. They are the Lion and Temeraire and two others on which the names were not released. Princess Elizabeth, now 18, in her first important public function, sent the great ship down the ways before a cheering crowd of men and women shipyard workers.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1946, the Eagle reported, “Arctic winds whistled down from Canada today and added to the woes of a city already hounded by dwindling coal piles resulting from the John L. Lewis mine walkout. Winter was ushered in by 35-mile-an-hour blasts from the north and northwest that hurtled the mercury to a low of 15.5 at 6:50 a.m. Mayor [William] O’Dwyer called his special fuel committee, headed by Police Commissioner [Arthur] Wallander, to City Hall to determine whether the second phase of the Civilian Production Administration conservation order should go into effect before Christmas. Although shivering Brooklynites were hardly able to notice the difference, the temperature struggled upward from its early morning low. At 1 p.m. it was at a comparative high of 22. The forecast for tonight was very cold and clear with strong north winds. Tomorrow will be sunny and cold with the same north winds. While the sharp weather brought increased demands for heat in apartments, the Brooklyn Union Gas Company was meeting requirements in good shape. As of today, according to a spokesman, there was a 28-day supply of coal on hand. Further conservation measures will not be called for, he said, until the stock dwindles to 21 days. The Long Island Lighting Company has asked users of gas-heating appliances to keep the thermometer in their homes at 65 and to stay alert for further instructions.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “Because of the unusually long Indian summer, the members of the Iceberg Athletic Club, Brooklyn’s human polar bears, will make their first beach trip of the season Sunday afternoon to the foot of W. 19th St. in Coney Island. In other years they began their frozen festival Oct. 1. The Icebergs, their muscles no doubt stiff after the long summer, will limber up with games of soft and hand ball, throwing the medicine ball, lifting weights, running races and tumbling. They will climax the afternoon with a dip in the ocean. A light snow has been forecast for Sunday.”

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Britney Spears
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Lucy Liu
Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Wayne’s World” director Penelope Spheeris, who was born in 1945; “Frasier” star Dan Butler, who was born in 1954; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Rick Savage (Def Leppard), who was born in 1960; “Charlie’s Angels” star Lucy Liu, who was born in 1968; “Melrose Place” star Rena Sofer, who was born in 1968; International Tennis Hall of Famer Monica Seles, who was born in 1973; “I’m Like a Bird” singer Nelly Furtado, who was born in 1978; “Oops!… I Did it Again” singer Britney Spears, who was born in 1981; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was born in 1983; “NCIS: Los Angeles” star Daniela Ruah, who was born in 1983; “Degrassi: The Next Generation” star Cassie Steele, who was born in 1989; and former N.Y. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who was born in 1992.

Aaron Rodgers
Michael Zorn/Invision/AP Images

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DRAWING THE LINE: On this day in 1823, President James Monroe, in his annual message to Congress, put forth the doctrine that bears his name and has long been hailed as a statement of U.S. policy: “In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves, we have never taken any part … We should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.”

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MEDICAL MARVEL: On this day in 1982, Barney C. Clark, 61, became the first recipient of a permanent artificial heart. The operation was performed at the University of Utah Medical Center at Salt Lake City. Near death at the time, Clark survived 112 days after the implantation. He died on March 23, 1983.

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

 

Quotable:

“Don’t talk to me about rules, dear. Wherever I stay, I make the goddamn rules.”

— opera legend Maria Callas, who was born on this day in 1923


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