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December 24: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

December 24, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1842, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Although Christmas occurs tomorrow, the celebration proper will take place on Monday. Of course, the publication of the Eagle will be intermitted on that day.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1870, the Eagle reported, “The Christmas exercises in the Primary Department of Public School No. 6, located in Fifteenth street between Third and Fourth avenues, were performed this morning and were of a very pleasant character. Seven years ago the school was opened with eighteen scholars and it now numbers an attendance of 700. The principal is Miss Alice Martin, an excellent disciplinarian and thoroughly interested in her profession. She is assisted by a competent corps of teachers and the school stands in the front rank among the primaries of the city. The order of exercises this morning consisted of religious exercises, readings, recitations and singing by the pupils. There was a moderately large attendance of friends and parents of the school and the pupils.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1875, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON, D.C. — The crowded condition of the principal business thoroughfares from early in the morning till late at night would seem to indicate that the scarcity of money, of which there has long been much complaint, no longer exists. Tradesmen appear to be satisfied with extensive sales. All the public offices were closed at noon today, in order to give the employees an opportunity to prepare for Christmas.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1916, Eagle columnist Frederick Boyd Stevenson wrote, “If any lasting good is to come from the revival of the Spirit of Christmas, we should not dwell too much upon the traditional parts which we have inherited from the past, but consider more the moral lessons taught to us by the ideal they represent. Tradition is represented by the outward and visible signs. The ideal itself is the inward spiritual grace. Thus Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. Even the outward and visible signs — even in their paganism, even in their roystering demonstration, even sometimes in their irrelevancy and in their irreverence — should recall to us what we seek to communicate in the observance of Christmas Day. How many of us do realize it?”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “BETHLEHEM (U.P.) — The bells of the Holy Land pealed out their first true Christmas message of peace on earth in seven years today, but legions of men in military garb still tramped in the olive groves and market places once trod by Christ. The square in Bethlehem was teeming this Christmas Eve with army vehicles of all kinds. A new electric Star of Bethlehem looked down on the square, replacing the one moved last year to rest camp for American soldiers. The faithful were streaming in from all directions for the Christmas worship on this anniversary of the birth of Christ. The most impressive of the ceremonies will be the midnight masses ushering in the first Christmas Day after the second World War. In the tiny town of Judea, revered by millions, men and women in the uniforms of both the American and British services mingled with the civilians thronging it for the holiday observances. Most of the khaki-clad men were fresh from the battlefields of Europe. They still wore the heavy field boots instead of the soft suede desert shoes customary in this country. But it is to the natives that the Basilica of the Nativity will belong on Christmas Eve. High dignitaries of the Roman Catholic states will arrive early this evening for the midnight mass.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1962, an Eagle editorial said, “To all of you out there in this wonderful borough of ours, we at the Brooklyn Eagle wish a Merry Christmas! We hope the principles of this holy day will invade and, someday, conquer the hearts of people everywhere so that ‘Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men’ will become a reality for all of us all through the year, not just at Christmas time.”

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Ryan Seacrest
Glenn Francis/Wikimedia Commons
Stephenie Meyer
Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include sculptor and printmaker Jonathan Borofsky, who was born in 1942; Focus co-founder Jan Akkerman, who was born in 1946; former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was born in 1946; jazz trumpeter Michael Ray, who was born in 1952; economist Gene Sperling, who was born in 1958; “Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels, who was born in 1959; “Prison Break” star Wade Williams, who was born in 1961; 10,000 Maniacs singer Mary Ramsey, who was born in 1963; “Boston Legal” star Mark Valley, who was born in 1964; “The Drew Carey Show” star Diedrich Bader, who was born in 1966; “Prison Break” star Amaury Nolasco, who was born in 1970; “Livin’ la Vida Loca” singer Ricky Martin, who was born in 1971; “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer, who was born in 1973; and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” host Ryan Seacrest, who was born in 1974.

Ricky Martin
Eva Rinaldi/Wikimedia Commons

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WAR IS OVER: The Treaty of Ghent was signed on this day in 1814, ending the War of 1812 between the U.S. and Great Britain. The treaty took effect in February 1815 and ushered in more than two centuries of peace between the two nations.

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HEAVENLY PEACE: “Silent Night” was performed for the first time on this day in 1818. Composed by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr, it debuted at St. Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian empire. The 1935 version by Bing Crosby is the fourth best-selling single of all-time.

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

 

Quotable:

“A library is a path to the future — find yours there.”

— novelist Mary Higgins Clark, who was born on this day in 1927


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