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December 23: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

December 23, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1896, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “‘A green Christmas makes a fat churchyard,’ says the old proverb. The snow storm that began last evening will, for the first time in years, give Brooklyn a ‘white Christmas,’ which ‘makes a lean churchyard.’ The snow descended lightly at first, but soon grew heavier as the wind increased, and the streets and houses were soon enveloped in a white mantle. The storm came from the lake regions, but was not of an extensive character, and the weather cleared about 10 o’clock this morning at which time about four inches had fallen. Observer Dunn said today: ‘I do not think we will have any more snow at present, but lovers of sleighing will probably have a chance to indulge in the exhilarating sport on Christmas day, for there is a slight cold wave in sight, which will probably reach this vicinity by tomorrow night.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1928, the Eagle reported, “Sounding faintly through thousands of miles of ether, the chime of old Trinity Church on Wall st. will softly announce Christmas Day to the waiting millions in every part of the United States on Tuesday morning. This is considered one of the fine features, which include the singing of carols of the old days, of foreign countries, and of the present, the Christmas dramas, the recitations, stories and orchestral music of the season, to be broadcast by all stations. Many special numbers will be put on the air, and the regular weekly broadcasters have all arranged elaborate programs … Even Santa Claus would be swamped if he tried to put a radio set into every one of the 14,000,000 homes that are ‘dark’ as far as broadcasting is concerned, and it will take several years to supply the enormous demand. Even when it is fully supplied, some revolutionary change will take place, and everybody will have to start all over again, if they want to be up to date.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “The final week of frantic pre-holiday shopping over, the city last night caught its breath for a day of rest before making last minute preparations to taste the joys of the first peacetime Christmas in five years. Not a dull moment appeared in store for those who remained in the city after the peak of holiday travel, the heaviest ever, had passed yesterday. The Christmas calendar was jam-packed with events of both deeply religious and social significance. Chances were strong that the city would celebrate its first white Christmas in 15 years. Beginning tomorrow, Christmas Eve, the bells will ring out and echo in the hearts of a grateful people that glad anthem, ‘Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth Peace to Men of Good Will.’ It will be heard repeatedly during this happy season as Brooklynites, with the rest of the Christian world, return in spirit to Bethlehem to adore the Christ Child lying in the manger and hail Him as the Saviour of Mankind and the Prince of Peace.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1962, the Eagle reported, “VATICAN CITY (UPI) — Pope John said last night in his annual Christmas message to the world that there are now glimmers of hope for international peace. The Pope, in one of the most optimistic holiday messages of his four-year reign, said his calls for peace during the grave Cuban crisis apparently were heeded. ‘Undoubted signs of high understanding give us assurance that ours were not words spoken into the wind, but are moving minds and hearts and are opening up new prospects of brotherly confidence and glimmers of serene horizons of true social and international peace,’ he said. The 81-year-old pontiff spoke in a firm voice despite his illness, which some sources say is more grave than officially admitted. His Italian-language broadcast was recorded and filmed for television in his Vatican study. It was re-broadcast around the globe in a multitude of languages by the powerful Vatican Radio and a nine-station television hook-up. Without mentioning them by name, Pope John gave implicit praise to President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev for their restraint during the crisis over Cuba. He said his own pontificate would keep the struggle for peace as its main goal ‘until the end.’”

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Finn Wolfhard
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Susan Lucci
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “This is Spinal Tap” star Harry Shearer, who was born in 1943; “All My Children” star Susan Lucci, who was born in 1946; Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Ham, who was born in 1948; original Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips, who was born in 1951; political analyst Bill Kristol, who was born in 1952; Iron Maiden guitarist Dave Murray, who was born in 1956; singer-songwriter Victoria Williams, who was born in 1958; former NFL head coach Jim Harbaugh, who was born in 1963; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), who was born in 1964; former Cleveland Indians catcher Victor Martinez, who was born in 1978; actress and model Estella Warren, who was born in 1978; Miss Brooklyn 2010 and Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan, who was born in 1988; and “Stranger Things” star Finn Wolfhard, who was born in 2002.

Harry Shearer
Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

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THE MONEY TREE: The Federal Reserve system was created on this day in 1913. Established pursuant to authority contained in the Federal Reserve Act, the system serves as the nation’s central bank, with the responsibility for execution of monetary policy. It is called on to contribute to the strength and vitality of the U.S. economy, in part by influencing the lending and investing activities of commercial banks and the cost and availability of money and credit.

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CURRENT EVENT: The transistor was introduced on this day in 1947. John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley of Bell Laboratories shared the 1956 Nobel Prize for their invention, which led to a revolution in communications and electronics. It was smaller, lighter, more durable and more reliable and generated less heat than the vacuum tube, which had been used up to that time.

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

 

Quotable:

“It is in disaster, not success, that the heroes and the bums really get sorted out.”

— Medal of Honor recipient James Stockdale, who was born on this day in 1923


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