Brooklyn Boro

December 7: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

December 7, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1941, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “TOKIO (U.P.) — Japan indicated early today that she stands on the verge of abandoning efforts to achieve settlement of the Pacific crisis by diplomatic negotiation at Washington. At the same time, warnings circulated that Soviet Russia — with an estimated Far Eastern army of 840,000 — has swung in with America, Britain, China, Holland and the British Dominions in a united front against Japan. The press, bellwether of Japanese opinion, thundered that the moment of supreme sacrifice was at hand. A government spokesman said Japan’s ‘patience’ may be tried only a little longer.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1942, the Eagle reported, “A year’s fighting since Pearl Harbor found American troops, planes and warships around the world carrying the fight to the enemy today and the initiative steadily passing from the hands of the Axis to those of the Allies. On four major fronts the battle raged with American, British, Russian and Allied forces pressing forward with the momentum of full confidence in a complete victory.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1943, the Eagle reported, “Frank Sinatra, who has been besieged by adoring teenage girls on his tour of the country, will hustle from his stage appearance in Pittsburgh directly to the U.S. Army induction center in Newark on Saturday. As a result, girls who had planned to get ‘a last glimpse’ of him at the office of Local Board 19 in Jersey City will have to make other arrangements. He got permission from Ira Caldwell, chairman of the local board, to make a direct entry just to prevent a demonstration by girl fans at the draft board office. He could have continued his tour for some weeks, but he insisted on being inducted with the December quota of 27 men and will be the only married man.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1944, it was reported, “The Brooklyn Eagle late today will present a plaque to the officers and men of the cruiser U.S.S. Brooklyn, ‘in recognition of their high courage and brilliant performance in battle and their further patriotic devotion in the purchase of war bonds.’ The presentation will be made at 4 p.m. at the Brooklyn Navy Yard by Borough President [John] Cashmore and Edwin B. Wilson, editor of the Brooklyn Eagle … Capt. Frank R. Dodge will accept the plaque for his crew which, since last July, has purchased $144,000 in war bonds … The cruiser Brooklyn returned Saturday to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where her keel was laid in 1936, after 15 months of battle duty without losing a man and without suffering any damage.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “MANILA (U.P.) — Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, first top-flight Japanese war criminal to be tried, was convicted by a five-man U.S. military commission today and sentenced to death by hanging. Maj. Gen. R.B. Reynolds, president of the commission, announced the verdict after a 12-minute statement reviewing outstanding points of the case, including uncontested evidence that troops under Yamashita’s command wantonly murdered 60,000 civilians and war prisoners. ‘The atrocity acts seemed planned and Yamashita failed to take precaution against them,’ General Reynolds said. The sentence, pronounced on the fourth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, dazed Yamashita. When ordered back to his prison cell under heavy guard, he started walking in the wrong direction. Military police had to turn him around.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1946, the Eagle reported, “HONOLULU (U.P.) — Simple ceremonies at Pearl Harbor today marked the fifth anniversary of the Japanese ‘sneak’ attack on this naval base, which Americans will never forget. The navy, whose harbor still holds the battered hulks of the battleships Oklahoma and Arizona as grim reminders of Japanese treachery, observed the anniversary as another workday. At nearby Hickam Field, the tattered American flag which flew that fateful morning and was slashed by Japanese bombs was raised by the army air forces at 7:55 a.m., the moment the Japanese first struck the field.”

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Sara Bareilles
John Shearer/Invision/AP
Pete Alonso
Frank Franklin II/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn, who was born in 1932; “Compromising Positions” author Susan Isaacs, who was born in Brooklyn in 1943; Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, who was born in 1947; U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, who was born in 1952; Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird, who was born in 1956; “Basquiat” star Jeffrey Wright, who was born in 1965; “Red Dawn” star C. Thomas Howell, who was born in 1966; former N.Y. Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez, who was born in 1967; Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens, who was born in 1973; former N.Y Jets guard Alan Faneca, who was born in 1976; former N.Y. Yankees third baseman Eric Chavez, who was born in 1977; “Roswell” star Shiri Appleby, who was born in 1978; “Love Song” singer Sara Bareilles, who was born in 1979; “Dexter” star Jennifer Carpenter, who was born in 1979; “American Gods” star Emily Browning, who was born in 1988; and N.Y. Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, who was born in 1994.

Larry Bird
Charles Sykes/AP

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LAW OF THE LAND: On this day in 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, which it did by unanimous vote. The Constitution became officially binding when it was ratified by New Hampshire on June 21, 1788.

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STORY OF A LIFE: Harry Chapin was born on this day in 1942. The writer of popular “story songs” such as “Taxi,” “W.O.L.D.” and “Cats in the Cradle” spent his teen years in Brooklyn Heights. Before finding fame as a singer-songwriter, he wrote and directed the Oscar-nominated boxing documentary “Legendary Champions.” His musical success in the 1970s gave him a platform to address humanitarian issues, particularly world hunger. He died in a car crash on the Long Island Expressway on July 16, 1981 and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

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

 

Quotable:

“Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

— President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his address to Congress, Dec. 8, 1941


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