Brooklyn Boro

May 1: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

May 1, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1887, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “LOUISVILLE, KY., APRIL 30 — The meeting of the Louisville Jockey Club, commencing May 11, promises to be the greatest ever held by the club. From present indications 500 horses will participate. The recent arrivals have been the stables of Baldwin, S.S. Brown, John H. Davis and Bailey. Corrigan’s other lot come direct from Memphis today, as will those of Honig and many others. Stable room has been engaged for some 200 each from Nashville and Lexington. Goliah was galloped for the first time yesterday, but Jim Gore still continues the favorite and is in superb condition. The races begin at Lexington today, and Monday at Nashville, but no real great race or trial comes off until the Kentucky Derby on the 11th of May. The local interest has never been greater.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1931, the Eagle reported, “A governor and a former governor today formally opened the Empire State Building, tallest in the world, and they were aided by the president of the United States in Washington … Governor [Franklin] Roosevelt was one of a long list of celebrities who attended the opening of the tall tower of steel and stone at 5th Avenue and 34th Street, Manhattan, on the site of the historic old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. With him was former Governor Alfred E. Smith, head of the Empire State Building Corporation … At 11:15 a.m., Smith placed a red, white and blue ribbon on the 33rd Street entrance, and a few minutes later the parade started. At 11:30, President [Herbert] Hoover, in the White House, pressed a button, and throughout the 102 stories electric lights flashed on, in competition with the light of a brilliant sun.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1935, Eagle reporter Art Arthur wrote, “The lonesomest man in Union Square today was Angelo Guspanti, a simple citizen who made the mistake of trying to sell tiny American flags to Communists marching in the May Day parade. To Angelo, a parade is a parade. He has always managed to pick up a few pennies in the past peddling his flags. Today Angelo invested his limited capital of some 35 cents in an assortment of small-size Old Glories and set out, as usual, to vend his wares. But no takers.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “LONDON (A.P.) — Twenty-five thousand London busmen went on strike today, seriously crippling the city’s transportation system, and the possibility arose that subway and street car workers might join the strike to paralyze the metropolitan transport network completely. The May Day walkout, only 12 days before King George’s Coronation, started shortly after midnight in an attempt to enforce workers’ demands for a reduction of the working day from eight to seven and one-half hours and for slower bus schedules. Busmen asserted the strike was 100 percent effective in the London area. The familiar red buses were absent from city streets for the first time since the great general strike of May 1926, when 2,500,000 striking workers paralyzed the nation. Thousands of Londoners wheeled out their bicycles — some of them tandems — and pedaled to work. Many sympathetic motorists gave pedestrians lifts. Street cars and subways were jammed during the morning rush hour. Frequently passengers were forced to let three or four trains go by before they could find standing room. Government negotiators attempted to find a solution, fearing the subway and surface car unions, allied with the busmen, might strike in sympathy when London is jammed with Coronation visitors.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1952, the Eagle reported, “TOKYO (U.P.) — Communist-inspired rioters celebrated May Day in Tokyo and Kyoto today with an outburst of violence that killed two and possibly four persons and injured more than 400 others, including scores of Americans. Three hundred thousand Communist demonstrators marched in columns through downtown Tokyo, stoning and clubbing Americans, overturning their automobiles and shattering windows in U.S. Far East Air Force Headquarters. The Tokyo riot cost the life of one policeman and injuries to 30 others. One rioter was killed, two others were reported killed and an estimated 300 injured. A three-hour battle in Kyoto between police and demonstrators waving Red flags caused injuries to 51 policemen and an unknown number of rioters were arrested. In Tokyo, the demonstrators overturned 10 American autos and burned them by hurling gasoline-filled torches and ‘Molotov cocktail’ bottles. The autos were parked along the Imperial Palace moat within a few hundred feet of Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway’s headquarters.”

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Curtis Martin
Louis Lanzano/AP
Julie Benz
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Both Sides Now” singer Judy Collins, who was born in 1939; “We’re All Alone” singer Rita Coolidge, who was born in 1945; “Absolutely Fabulous” star Joanna Lumley, who was born in 1946; “Law and Order” star Dann Florek, who was born in 1950; “Ghostbusters” singer Ray Parker, Jr., who was born in 1954; jockey and National Racing Hall of Famer Steve Cauthen, who was born in 1960; country superstar Tim McGraw, who was born in 1967; former Smashing Pumpkins bassist D’arcy Wretzky, who was born in 1968; Oscar-winning filmmaker Wes Anderson, who was born in 1969; “Dexter” star Julie Benz, who was born in 1972; N.Y. Jets legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Curtis Martin, who was born in 1973; and former N.Y. Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman, who was born in 1991.

Wes Anderson
Evan Agostini/AP

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NATIVE SON: Joseph Heller was born in Coney Island 100 years ago today. The Lincoln H.S. graduate is best known for the 1961 satirical war novel “Catch-22,” which is considered one the most important books of the 20th century. In 1998 he published the memoir “Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here.” He died in 1999.

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WAYNE’S WORLD: “Batman” made his first appearance on this day in 1939. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, the Caped Crusader is the alter ego of millionaire Bruce Wayne. He debuted in Detective Comics #27 in a story titled “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate.” In 2010, a copy of it sold for $1.075 million, the most ever paid for a comic book at the time.

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

 

Quotable:

“Peace on earth would mean the end of civilization as we know it.”

— novelist Joseph Heller, who was born on this day in 1923


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