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May 15: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

May 15, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1944, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Mrs. Emma Van Coutren, mother of 12 children, all of whom are serving in the armed forces, was guest of honor yesterday at the annual dinner sponsored by the Mother’s Day Commemorative League in the Towers Hotel. Two of her sons, Paul, who is in the navy, and Leo, in the merchant marine, were on hand to watch her receive a plaque awarded to ‘the outstanding mother of 1944.’ Victor L. Anfuso, president of the Tolerance Day League and chairman of the dinner committee; former Magistrate Leo Healy and former Tax Appraiser David F. Soden all pointed out that Mrs. Van Coutren symbolized all mothers in America, whom they described as ‘the unsung heroes of the war.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “TEL AVIV (U.P.) — Arab planes bombed Tel Aviv three times today and one Egyptian air force pilot was taken prisoner when his plane was forced down just north of the new Jewish capital. The Egyptian government in Cairo announced officially that Egyptian planes raided the newborn State of Israel in the forefront of an Arab attack from all sides, including one raid on a Jewish airdrome outside Tel Aviv … Egyptian troops driving into Palestine have ‘wiped out’ a Jewish settlement on the road to Beersheba, an official communique in Cairo said today … Jewish sources said direct Arab-Jewish negotiations for a truce in Jerusalem were started after Jews captured virtually all strongpoints abandoned by the British in the Holy City … Egyptian troops spearheaded the Arab assault, attempting an amphibious landing 21 miles south of Tel Aviv and crashing across the southern Palestine border at two points. Syrian and Lebanese troops roared down across the northern frontier several hours before the midnight deadline, riding into battle in 150 armored trucks.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “BALTIMORE, MD. (U.P.) — Encouraged by an off track and a sure thing financially, three owners sent their horses after Citation today in one of America’s racing classics, the $100,000-added Preakness Stakes. They had nothing to lose, turf glory and gold to gain. The gold, in limited quantities, they were sure of. Only the amount was in question. As to the glory — well, there didn’t figure to be much of that unless finishing second to Citation becomes an award of turf merit. Being runner-up to the Calumet comet may well become exactly that, for none of the three horses he faced today figured to give him much trouble. The records have him so far out in front that the only question seemed to be: Citation first and who’s next? It will be either Bovard, Better Self or Vulcan’s Forge. Of the 83 three-year-olds nominated for the Preakness they were the only three who did not decline the issue. They can’t help but return a dividend on their owners’ Preakness investment. The gross purse of $134,870 has $20,000 set aside for the second place horse, $10,000 for third and $5,000 for the fourth and last horse in the field. So financially they have to win, come what may, but they don’t figure to win much otherwise. So invincible has Citation been that none of the four horses who tried to match his thundering hoof beats in the Derby cared to have any more of him.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “Thousands of Brooklyn residents will line the streets of Bay Ridge Sunday for the annual colorful parade and rally of the Norwegian-American 17th of May Committee of Greater New York. Elaborate floats will highlight the parade, which will include large community bands. Many of the marchers will wear traditional Norwegian national costumes. Eighty Norwegian-American organizations are represented on the parade committee under L. Kaare Johansen’s chairmanship. Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman will be the main speaker at a rally program in McKinley Park following the parade. His great-grandmother came from Hallingdal, Norway, when the Midwest was being settled by Scandinavians. Sunday’s parade and festival commemorates the 149th anniversary of the adoption of the Norwegian Constitution in the village of Eidsvoll.”

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Giselle Fernandez
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP
Jamie-Lynn Sigler
Evan Agostini/Invision

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include painter and sculptor Jasper Johns, who was born in 1930; “My Favorite Year” star Lainie Kazan, who was born in 1940; Basketball Hall of Famer and former N.Y. Knicks coach Don Nelson, who was born in 1940; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Brian Eno, who was born in 1948; “A Bronx Tale” star Chazz Palminteri, who was born in 1952; Baseball Hall of Famer George Brett, who was born in 1953; Spectrum News 1 anchor Giselle Fernandez, who was born in 1961; Baseball Hall of Famer John Smoltz, who was born in 1967; Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith, who was born in 1969; “The Sopranos” star Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who was born in 1981; and model Stella Maxwell, who was born in 1990.

Chazz Palminteri
Greg Allen/Invision/AP

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A WIZARD WITH WORDS: L. Frank Baum was born in Chittenango, N.Y., on this day in 1856. Although “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is his most famous work, he also wrote many other books for children, including more than a dozen about Oz. He died in Hollywood in 1919.

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STOCKING UP: Nylon hose went on sale at stores throughout the country on this day in 1940. Competing producers bought their nylon yarn from E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (later DuPont). W.H. Carothers, of DuPont, developed Nylon, called “Polymer 66,” in 1935. It was the first totally manmade fiber. Over time it was substituted for other materials and came to have widespread application.

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

 

Quotable:

“Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.”

— painter and sculptor Jasper Johns, who was born on this day in 1930


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