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January 25: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

January 25, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1914, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON — One of the strangest modern military defenses in the world is about to be constructed by the United States for the protection of the great naval station at Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii, and the entire City of Honolulu. It is a line of fortifications which will be largely composed of the craters of extinct volcanoes. Just as the famous rock of Gibraltar was utilized as a natural fortification, so will the cup-like mountaintops in the vicinity of Honolulu be employed to furnish important links in a chain of defenses which will make the City of Honolulu and the great naval station impregnable against an attacking fleet or an army which may be landed by a hostile power. In the fortifications bill about to be considered in Congress, the sum of $457,000 is being appropriated for the construction of these land defenses of the Island of Oahu, which is the principal one in the Hawaiian group. The line of defenses which has been mapped out by the War Department will take about three years to construct and will practically complete the military protection of the islands.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1931, the Eagle reported, “Well-informed and experienced real estate brokers, architects, builders, developers and men prominent in the financial field, interviewed during the past week on the business outlook, whose views are presented in this Annual Real Estate Review of the Eagle, sound a note of optimism for a reaction from the depression which fell upon the country in 1929, reaching its peak the latter days of 1930. The significant point about the forecasts is that practically all of these leaders in their respective fields agree that every indication points to the fact that the building industry, whose ramifications extend throughout the entire network of our commercial structure and reach every community in the United States, will from now on show a marked improvement and lead the way toward business recovery.”

DAILY TOP BROOKLYN NEWS
News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

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ON THIS DAY IN 1933, the Eagle reported, “The desire to attend a dance and a lack of funds prompted John Griffith Jr., 17, of 12th St., to steal a ride on a Staten Island trolley car last July 25. Now he is minus part of his right leg. Yesterday he went before Justice Dodd and a jury in Supreme Court with a suit for $50,000 against the Southfield Beach Railroad Company. John admitted he boarded the open trolley car, which was fairly well crowded, with two other boys, with the intention of beating his way. The dance tax was a dime and he had only 20 cents, he said, and payment of fare to the beach where the dance was held would compel him to walk hours to the summer home of his parents. He stood on the rear platform while the conductor was up front collecting fares. As the conductor neared his perch, his two companions hopped off on the right side of the speeding car. John stepped down to the left side running board and worked his way to the front until he neared the motorman. The latter moved to seize him, he said, and he jumped. John said the wheel ran over his right leg. The car was going so fast, he said, that it went a quarter of a mile before it stopped. His contention is that even though he was beating the company out of a nickel, its employees had no right to chase him off at an unsafe place or in such a manner that he was liable to injury. The railroad’s counsel, Bertram G. Eadle, contended that the whole thing was John’s fault.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “LONDON (U.P.) — Princess Elizabeth, now with her infant son, her husband and her parents at the royal family’s Sandringham home, has come down with the measles, Buckingham Palace announced today. The announcement made no mention of whether any quarantine measures were being taken. The princess complained of feeling ill for the past day or two. This morning her physician, Dr. J.N.B. Ansell, diagnosed her ailment as measles and said it was ‘taking its ordinary course.’ Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and their baby, Prince Charles, motored to Sandringham from London on Jan. 5. Her next scheduled public appearance was a visit to Edinburgh, Scotland, March 1.”

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Alicia Keys
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Ana Ortiz
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, who was born in 1929; Pro Football Hall of Famer Carl Eller, who was born in 1942; “Soylent Green” star Leigh Taylor-Young, who was born in 1945; “Empty Nest” star Dinah Manoff, who was born in 1956; “The Preacher’s Wife” star Jenifer Lewis, who was born in 1957; Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios, who was born in 1962; N.Y. Rangers Stanley Cup champion Esa Tikkanen, who was born in 1965; “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” author Stephen Chbosky, who was born in 1970; former N.Y. Knicks forward Chris Mills, who was born in 1970; “Ugly Betty” star Ana Ortiz, who was born in 1971; “Empire State of Mind” singer Alicia Keys, who was born in 1981; and former NFL linebacker Patrick Willis, who was born in 1985.

Stephen Chbosky
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

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LET IT SNOW: The first Winter Olympics opened at Chamonix, France, on this day in 1924, with athletes representing 16 nations. The ski jump, previously unknown, thrilled spectators. The Olympics offered a boost to skiing, which became enormously popular in the next decade.

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EAST MEETS WEST: The first scheduled transcontinental flight in the U.S. took place on this day in 1959. American Airlines opened the jet age when a Boeing 707 flew non-stop from California to New York.

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MEET THE PREZ: President John F. Kennedy held the first televised presidential news conference on this day in 1961, five days after his inauguration.

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

 

Quotable:

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.”

— author Somerset Maugham, who was born on this day in 1874


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