Brooklyn Boro

April 19: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

April 19, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
Share this:

ON THIS DAY IN 1906, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The fire is still raging throughout San Francisco. There is no possibility of stopping it until it exhausts itself for want of material. The city is doomed. The authorities are still dynamiting buildings in the vain hope of checking the progress of the flames, but a new misfortune has befallen the place. The explosives for blowing up buildings are becoming exhausted; even the powder of the government arsenal is all gone. Every business building and half of the resident portion of the city is destroyed. The entire district up as far as the new Fairmont Hotel on top of Nob Hill, California street, between Powell and Mason streets, is all gone. It is reported that 100,000 people are homeless. There is great scarcity of food and provisions. The water supply is again cut off. Ten thousand homeless are reported at Santa Rosa. The property loss may reach $200,000,000 or more. It is impossible to estimate the number of dead and injured. The people from the district from Hayes Valley north to the aristocratic Pacific street district, and including the beautiful Van Ness avenue station, are taking refuge in the 1,300-acre Golden Gate Park and half a dozen of the smaller parks in the western addition. Over 2,000 tents have been pitched in Golden Gate Park and thousands of tents, supplied by the military, are being erected in all the public squares. Here the panic-stricken people are being fed on army rations requisitioned by the military authorities.”

***

ON THIS DAY IN 1925, the Eagle reported, “Bright, clear and cold the day dawned. Overhead scarcely a cloud flecked the keen New England blue. About the village green at Lexington little houses snuggled. Just off the turn of the road to Concord gleamed the tall, pure-white spire of a church. Silence. Expectancy. With dry mouths the frail, gawky band of minute-men stared at the oncoming redcoats, tramp, tramp, tramping toward them. ‘Ye villains, ye rebels, disperse! Damn ye, disperse!’ shrieked the principal speaker of the occasion, a British officer. The thin line wavered, began to move. ‘Fire! By God, fire!’ shouted the officer. That was on April 19, 1775. This April 19, 1925, the 150th anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord, the principal speaker at Lexington will be Vice President Charles G. Dawes. He may use strong language and let out a few ‘Helen Marias.’ No great faith is needed to believe that on that fair dawning, 150 years ago, his famed great-great-great-grandfather, William Dawes, co-sharer with Paul Revere as a broadcaster on horseback, used a few emphatic words himself in rousing the Concordians and Lexingtonians, Roxburians and Brooklinians from their sleep, to announce the approach of the Britishers.”

***

ON THIS DAY IN 1929, the Eagle reported, “Declaring the system of all jails in New York City should be recognized, Dr. Hastings H. Hart of the Russell Sage Foundation urged immediate construction of the new prisons in a report for the Regional Plan of New York City and Its Environs made public yesterday. Dr. Hart’s report states that not only are most of the jails overcrowded but a large percentage of prisoners are housed in an unsanitary manner and many of the jails are firetraps. Among his recommendations was a reiteration of the demand of the Grand Jury which investigated the prison situation in 1925 and asked that Welfare Island be abandoned, both as a prison and as a hospital for narcotic addicts, and recommend Rikers Island as the only available site for the new penitentiary.”

***

ON THIS DAY IN 1937, Eagle columnist Cleveland Rogers wrote, “London crowds had a good time watching a rehearsal of the coronation parade. The whole affair was conducted by understudies. Even the spectators, who occupied the seats along the route, were substitutes. They saw the rehearsal free. Most of them cannot afford to see the real show. King George himself was an understudy, rushed into his role at the last moment, to take the place of Edward. Little Princess Elizabeth is understudy for George.”

***

ON THIS DAY IN 1950, the Eagle reported, “Every city in the United States will be within six hours flying time of any other within a few years with jet-propelled transports doing the job. The prediction came on the heels of yesterday’s record-smashing, 59-minute, 56-second flight of a Canadian Avro jet liner from Toronto to Idlewild Airport. About 300 aircraft engineers heard the prediction at the National Aeronautic Meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers at the Hotel Statler. Melvin D. Warshaw, schedule manager of Trans World Airlines, said jet-propelled transports carrying 60 passengers at 600 to 700 miles an hour will handle runs of more than 500 miles. A second plane, powered by turbine-driven propellers, would carry 40 passengers at 400 miles an hour on flights of 150 to 500 miles. Helicopters would carry 20 passengers on shorter hauls at 120 miles an hour. Helicopters, he added, would link cities and airports.”

***

Ashley Judd
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Kate Hudson
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Father Knows Best” star Elinor Donahue, who was born in 1937;  Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Alan Price (The Animals), who was born in 1942; “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” star Tim Curry, who was born in 1946; former N.Y. Mets pitcher Frank Viola, who was born in 1960; race car driver Al Unser, Jr., who was born in 1962; “Kiss the Girls” star Ashley Judd, who was born in 1968; “127 Hours” star James Franco, who was born in 1978; “Almost Famous” star Kate Hudson, who was born in 1979; “Star Wars” star Hayden Christensen, who was born in 1981; Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu, who was born in 1981; and tennis player Maria Sharapova, who was born in 1987.

Troy Polamalu
Business Wire

***

FOUNDER’S DAY: Roger Sherman was born on this day in 1721. The Massachusetts native represented Connecticut in the Continental Congress (1774-81, 1783-84) and signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He also calculated astronomical and calendar information for an almanac and was the first mayor of New Haven, where he died in 1793.

***

FIGHTING WORDS: The American Revolution began on this day in 1775 with the battles of Lexington and Concord. John Parker, captain of the Minutemen, said at Lexington: “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon; but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

***

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

 

Quotable:

“The question is, not what rights naturally belong to man, but how they may be most equally and effectually guarded in society.”

— U.S. Founding Father Roger Sherman, who was born on this day in 1721


Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment