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May 9: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

May 9, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1910, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “With a thousand subjects of the King of England aboard the Anchor Line steamship California — although the vessel is equipped with wireless — Captain James Blaikie, his officers and crew and his more than a thousand passengers were thunderstruck last night when casually informed by the pilot who boarded the boat off Sandy Hook that Edward VII was dead and that George V had been proclaimed King. Great sorrow was expressed on all sides, and it was some time before the officers could figure out how the death of the monarch had not been communicated to them. The only explanation (and one that was confirmed by officers of the company on the dock this morning) was that the company’s officials presumed that wireless notification of the event that is attracting the attention of the whole world had been picked up from Cape Race, Sable Island, or some other Marconi station, during the previous couple of days. For that reason the New York office did not communicate the news to Captain Blaikie. Immediately on the receipt of the information, the flags of the vessel were half-masted.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1911, the Eagle reported, “To make mothers day, May 14, equal in importance with Memorial Day is the declared intention of John E. Gilman of Boston, commander-in-chief of the G.A.R., in general orders for the observance of May 30, issued last week. The orders for the observation of mothers day read as follows: ‘The greatest of battles that ever was fought, Shall I tell you where it was and when? On the maps of the world you will find it not, It was fought by the mothers of men.’ Calling attention to the fearful suspense the mothers suffered, the report continues: ‘Our mothers fought greater battles than did their sons. Their hearts were torn with anxiety for the safety of their dear boys. Their very souls were rent with fear lest those who once nestled at their breasts were lying with mangled bodies on bloody fields, wasting away with disease or starving to death in prison pens. What our mothers were then, other mothers are now and ever will be. Three years ago there entered into the mind of Miss Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia a beautiful thought, and as a result of that thought the second Sunday in May was designated as ‘mothers’ day.’ Let us, then, show our filial affection by attending divine service and by wearing in our buttonhole a white carnation on that day in loving memory of the mothers we loved and who loved us.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “GUAM (U.P.) — The joint chiefs of staff now are working on plans for an invasion of Japan, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz disclosed today. With the war spotlight now focused solely on the Pacific theater, Admiral Nimitz also told a press conference, the United States immediately will step up ‘very materially’ its air bombardment of the enemy homeland … Asked if he thought the Japanese would capitulate before their homeland was invaded, he said: ‘I don’t know how much the Japs can take. If they can see the handwriting on the wall they can see what happened to Germany.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “LANSING, MICH. (UPI) — Gov. George Romney returned to his state capital and promptly left the 1964 Republican presidential nomination battle up to Sen. Barry Goldwater and Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller. Romney, home after an eight-day sojourn in Washington and N.Y., repeated that he is ‘not a candidate and I do not plan to be a candidate in 1964.’ The former industrialist said that Goldwater and Rockefeller are the ‘top candidates at this point’ and said he had invited both of them to come to Michigan ‘to let the state get a look at them.’ Romney said he was amazed at the publicity given his recent trip during which evidence of a Romney-for-President boom was growing within GOP ranks. ‘People have been interpreting things that aren’t there,’ he said. ‘All I’ve been doing is refraining from indicating what I’m going to do after this term as governor.’”

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Ghostface Killah
Arthur Mola/Invision/AP
Rosario Dawson
Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Space Shuttle commander Vance D. Brand, who was born in 1931; two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson, who was born in 1936; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sonny Curtis (The Crickets), who was born in 1937; producer and director James L. Brooks, who was born in Brooklyn in 1940; former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was born in 1942; Blood, Sweat and Tears co-founder Steve Katz, who was born in Brooklyn in 1945; “Murphy Brown” star Candice Bergen, who was born in 1946; Basketball Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy, who was born in 1948; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Billy Joel, who was born in 1949; “The Wonder Years” star Alley Mills, who was born in 1951; “Northern Exposure” star John Corbett, who was born in 1961; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode), who was born in 1962; rapper and songwriter Ghostface Killah, who was born in 1970; and “Top Five” star Rosario Dawson, who was born in 1979.

Billy Joel
Richard Drew/AP

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GOLDEN YEARS: Howard Carter was born on this day in 1874. The British archaeologist discovered the treasure-filled tomb of King Tutankhamun in Luxor, Egypt, in November 1922 and worked on the excavation for 10 years. He died in 1939.

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CHANNEL ZERO: Television was derided as a “wasteland” on this day in 1961. Speaking before the bigwigs of network TV at the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters, new FCC chairman Newton Minow exhorted those executives to sit through an entire day of their own programming. He suggested that they “will observe a vast wasteland.” He also urged them to strive for “imagination in programming, not sterility; creativity, not imitation; experimentation, not conformity; excellence, not mediocrity.” Minow died on May 6, 2023 at age 97.

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

 

Quotable:

“If you tell kids they can’t have something, that’s what they want.”

— Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Billy Joel, who was born on this day in 1949


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