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April 11: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

April 11, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1946, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The United Nations has selected the former city administration building at Flushing Meadow Park as interim headquarters for its General Assembly, it was announced today by Mayor [William] O’Dwyer after a surprise conference with U.N. Secretary General Trygve Lie. The announcement was made following a suddenly convened executive session of the Board of Estimate, attended by Mr. Lie and Grover A. Whalen, at which it was decided that the city will appropriate $1,250,000 to repair and rehabilitate the former municipal building at the site of the New York World’s Fair. The Sperry gyroscope plant at Lake Success was selected as general headquarters for the U.N. secretariat and as a meeting place for Council committees. Mr. Lie immediately accepted the city’s offer of the ground and said: ‘It is the greatest contribution the U.N. has yet received.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1947, an Eagle editorial said, “The Brooklyn Dodgers’ brief announcement that the team had purchased the contract of Jackie Robinson from the Montreal Royals has far-reaching significance. It means that for the first time in the national pastime, a big league team will carry on its roster a member of the Negro race. It means that the barriers have finally been lifted for other Negroes to follow suit, not alone with the Dodgers, but with the rest of the National and American League teams. And it also denotes that when Branch Rickey, president of the team, signed Robinson he had every intention and desire to give him a chance to make good as a big leaguer. There is little doubt that Robinson is equipped, physically and mentally, as a major leaguer. A fine hitter, a speedy runner and a capable defensive player, Robinson has the ability to achieve stardom in the big time. The Brooklyn Baseball Club is to be commended for its decision to sign Robinson.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — The House Appropriations Committee today cut budget estimates for veterans by $508,750,060 but recommended full speed ahead on the Veterans Hospital construction program. Most of the cuts were made in military pensions and GI readjustment benefits. Pensions were reduced by $222,089,000 and GI benefits by $244,167,000. The reduction in veterans’ spending was the largest recommended by the committee in approving funds for 28 independent government agencies for fiscal 1950 beginning July 1. Altogether the committee voted $7,576,886,231 to run the agencies, about 10 percent less than was asked by the Budget Bureau. This figure includes cash of $7,104,571,603 and contract authority for $472,314,628. The Veterans Administration was allotted $5,145,431,940. The committee ignored President Truman’s suggestion to ease off on veterans’ hospital construction and approved $237,000,000 in contract authority for the program. The hospital construction cutback, the committee said, would have resulted in ‘complete elimination of 24 proposed hospitals and the alteration in size of 15 other hospitals.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON, APRIL 10 (U.P.) — The administration today asked Congress to recommend the states liberalize their absentee voting laws so families of servicemen and federal civilian employees living overseas may cast ballots in primaries and general elections. Present ‘soldier voting laws,’ enacted by most states in response to a similar appeal from Congress in 1942, generally apply only to servicemen and to civilians — such as Red Cross workers — directly attached to the Armed Forces. The liberalization proposed would take into account peacetime conditions in which many servicemen are joined by their families while serving overseas and which find thousands of United States diplomats, technical experts and foreign aid administrators on foreign assignments. The request, reflecting a suggestion in President Eisenhower’s State of the Union message, was forwarded to Vice President Richard M. Nixon in a letter signed by Secretary of the Army Robert T. Stevens. Secretary Stevens said the proposal had the White House’s blessing. The Army apparently was designated to handle the matter because it has the greatest number of personnel and dependents overseas.”

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Alessandra Ambrosio
Chris Pizzello/AP
Tricia Helfer
Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include human rights advocate Ethel Kennedy, who was born in 1928; “Cabaret” star Joel Grey, who was born in 1932; journalist Tony Brown, who was born in 1933; “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” star Louise Lasser, who was born in 1939; “The Silence of the Lambs” author Thomas Harris, who was born in 1940; magazine editor Hattie Gossett, who was born in 1942; “Animal House” star Peter Riegert, who was born in 1947; former N.Y. Knicks guard Micheal Ray Richardson, who was born in 1955; former N.Y. Mets pitcher Bret Saberhagen, who was born in 1964; “Spin City” star Jennifer Esposito, who was born in 1972; “Battlestar Galactica” star Tricia Helfer, who was born in  1974; former N.Y. Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who was born in 1980; model and TV personality Alessandra Ambrosio, who was born in 1981; and singer-songwriter Joss Stone, who was born in 1987.

Mark Teixeira
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

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IN HARMONY: Today is Barbershop Quartet Day, which commemorates the 1938 gathering of 26 people in Tulsa, Ok., and the founding there of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America.

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ME GOTTA GO: Today is International “Louie Louie” Day, in honor of one of the greatest party songs of all time. “Louie Louie” has been recorded more times than any other rock song in history and was nearly declared the official state song of Washington. Richard Berry, who released the song in 1957, was born on April 11, 1935.

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

 

Quotable:

“The first lesson in civics is that efficient government should begin at home.”

— Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, who was born on this day in 1862


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