Brooklyn Boro

December 4: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

December 4, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1933, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “HILO, HAWAII (A.P.) — Molten lava surged and spouted in the Mokuaweoweo crater at the summit of Mauna Loa today in a continuation of the greatest eruption of that volcano since 1903. A cascade of fiery lava seething across the plateau at the summit forms a pillar of smoke by day and of fire at night.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1936, the Eagle reported, “LONDON (U.P.) — Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin faced a historic session of Parliament today and threw a clear-cut challenge to King Edward VIII to drop his plans to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson or abdicate. There could be no mistaking the meaning of the blunt country squire who heads His Majesty’s Government. Baldwin informed Commons that a morganatic marriage is contrary to English law and anyone the King marries automatically becomes Queen. Since the Government has taken an irrevocable stand against Mrs. Simpson becoming Queen, the King would have no choice but to give up his throne and empire if he persists in marrying her. There were strong indications that the strong-willed monarch intends to accept the challenge and fight back, carrying the issue to his people and risking losing the dominions which, Baldwin said, are opposed to the marriage. The King has sent Mrs. Simpson into seclusion with friends in France while he faces his crisis alone. It was said on the highest authority that he intends to defy Baldwin, the Conservatives, the clergy and the press and form a government headed by the brilliant, erratic Winston Churchill.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1946, the Eagle reported, “New York City’s Democratic organizations were reflecting growing anxiety over the extent of heavy congressional patronage losses confronting them as a result of the Republican Party’s capture of House control in the next Congress which convenes in January. Based on information reaching them from Washington, the larger of the five county organizations in the city were bracing themselves for the loss of at least $100,000 in heretofore Democratic-controlled appointments. The same sources indicated Brooklyn appointees would be among those feeling the effects of a drastic job-holding turnover contemplated by the incoming Republican majority which returns to power after 15 years of continuous control by their political opponents. Because of the sweep at the polls one month ago the GOP will have clear-cut control of both the U.S. Senate and House, holding 51 of the 96 Senate seats and 246 of the 435 seats in the House.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1947, the Eagle reported, “The promulgation of an order throughout 23 public schools in districts 41 and 42, prohibiting the singing of Christmas carols making reference to the Nativity, and putting a ban on all Christmas holiday celebrations having ‘religious significance,’ was condemned today as ‘an insult to Christians’ by Matthew F. Kennedy, chairman of the Catholic Affairs Committee of the New York State Council, Knights of Columbus. The order, issued by Assistant Superintendent Isaac Bildersee, in charge of school districts 41 and 42, states, in part: ‘Christmas, and other similar occasions, may be celebrated only as seasonal, pre-vacation occurrences. There must not be any reference in dramatizations, songs, or other aspects of the occasion, to any religious significance involved. Christmas carols with reference to the Nativity may not be sung, nor may decorations include religious symbols of any faith.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1962, the Eagle reported, “(UPI) — Chipper Casey Stengel, 71 years young, ‘can’t wait’ for the new season to start even though most of the experts already are consigning his Mets to another 10th-place finish in 1963. Stengel, about to embark on his 23rd season as a major league manager, talks and acts as if he intends to remain in the game at least 23 more. ‘No one likes to lose,’ he added, referring to the Mets’ modern record total of 120 defeats this year, ‘and that includes me. Everybody tells me I look wonderful. Maybe I do — on the outside. But I don’t look so good on the inside. Those losses do something to you. Our organization hasn’t been sleeping this winter, however. I guarantee we’ll be better next year. We are starting to see some daylight.’”

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Jay-Z
Greg Allen/Invision/AP
Marisa Tomei
Greg Allen/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include game show host Wink Martindale, who was born in 1933; musician Southside Johnny, who was born in 1948; Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges, who was born in 1949; “Thirtysomething” star Patricia Wettig, who was born in 1951; singer-songwriter Cassandra Wilson, who was born in 1955; Basketball Hall of Famer Bernard King, who was born in Brooklyn in 1956; Baseball Hall of Famer Lee Smith, who was born in 1957; Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei, who was born in Brooklyn in 1964; former “Saturday Night Live” star Fred Armisen, who was born in 1966; rapper Jay-Z, who was born in Brooklyn in 1969; TV personality Tyra Banks, who was born in 1973; and singer-songwriter Kate Rusby, who was born in 1973.

Bernard King
Frank Franklin II/AP

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FIRST IN PEACE: Gen. George Washington said farewell to his troops on this day in 1783. The parting took place at Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan, one week after British troops evacuated New York as the American Revolution came to an end. Washington told his men, “I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.”

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THE LION IN WINTER: Bert Lahr died on this day in 1967. Born in 1895, the New York City native got his start in vaudeville at age 15. He was a Broadway star by the 1920s and made his feature film debut in 1931. His long and varied career is overshadowed by one role: a Cowardly Lion in search of courage in 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz.” Lahr is buried in Union Field Cemetery in Ridgewood, Queens.

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

 

Quotable:

“Value will always work out in the course of time.”

— Dow Jones & Company founder Charles Dow, who died in Brooklyn on this day in 1902


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