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July 17: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

July 17, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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ON THIS DAY IN 1889, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “London is thrown into a ferment of terror this morning over the dreadful crime which was committed last night, and which promises from its appearance to be the first murder of Jack the Ripper’s second series. This mysterious and fiendish individual has, according to his promise to kill twenty Whitechapel women, several more murders to perform, and there is little doubt that last night’s performance is some of his handiwork. The victim killed in Castle alley, Whitechapel, last night was, like the rest of the Ripper’s subjects, an abandoned woman. She was middle aged. Her throat was cut through to the spine, the clothing thrown back, exposing the abdomen, and several horrible gashes had been made across the stomach. The intestines, however, were not exposed and no portion of the body is missing, as was usually the case with the other murders of this description. Blood was still flowing from the body and the body was warm when it was found. Since the last murder in Whitechapel several extra policemen have been stationed in the district, and some of them have been placed within a hundred yards of the very spot where last night’s murder was committed. More than this, an officer, who, with a watchman employed to watch a large warehouse nearby, must have been within a few yards of the murderer when he struck his victim, did not hear any noise of a suspicious nature.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1917, the Eagle reported, “Democratic and Republican leaders in Queens yesterday sent a request to Governor [Charles Seymour] Whitman asking that he direct the Legislature at the coming special session to change the boundary lines of the Bronx and Queens so as to include South Brother Island within the Queens voting jurisdiction. Heretofore it has always been counted in with the Bronx figures. There are just three voters on the island.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1927, Eagle columnist Martin Dickstein said, “The recurrent question of what’s wrong with the movies crops up again on the rather discouraging fact that, with the six-month mark arrived and gone, the year 1927 has yet to bring forth a motion picture with real distinction. While the producers continue their frantic appeals for better stories to be fashioned into finer photoplays, the percentage of intelligent movies continues at an alarming rate to wane and threatens with each passing month to end up with being no percentage at all. Now and then, as witness the past few weeks’ viewing with alarm, the Hollywood producing fraternity becomes nervously cognizant of the fact that the attendance at the movie parlors in the land shows signs of falling off. And what does the fraternity do to dike the rising tide of public disinterest but call hasty conventions to discuss ways and means of cutting salaries and discouraging overhead expenses. It seems to me that this is like amputating a fine right arm to cure a case of slow tuberculosis.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1932, the Eagle reported, “There was much discussion in the men’s dressing room at Wimbledon about the English method of playing a five-set singles without the ten minutes interval after the third set. F.X. Shields had just beaten E.D. Andrews in the dramatic match which lasted 2 hours and 50 minutes in terrific heat, and both players were, naturally, completely exhausted. Shields had a touch of cramp and Andrews had sprained his ankle. English players who had previously held that it was better to play right on changed their minds after seeing that match. All the French, American and other overseas players were unanimous in the belief that better lawn tennis would be played if the ten minutes interval was allowed.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1941, the Eagle reported, “One of the largest crowds of the season will sit in tonight to see if Southpaw Al Smith can stop the great Joe DiMaggio, whose continuous hitting streak reached the 56-game mark yesterday.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “SEOUL (U.P.) — The Chinese Communists who smashed an estimated eight miles into the central front are being forced back under a combined infantry-tank-artillery-plane attack and are surrendering in large numbers, front dispatches said today. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, commanding the 8th Army, said in a special statement that the front is now stabilized and that the United Nations forces are pressing forward. Eighth Army Headquarters said the Reds lost 14,200 men killed and 6,800 wounded in the week ended Tuesday — and their casualty rate has shot upward since then. Regrouped, reinforced UN troops gained up to 1,000 yards — more than half a mile – on the left flank today after gaining one mile yesterday. At the same time, fighter bombers hurled 1,272,000 pounds of napalm and bombs on the battlefront. United Press front dispatches described tank-infantry teams knifing into the Chinese lines in nutcracker attacks and said one dominating hill had been recaptured by storm in today’s advance after an all-day battle.”

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Regina Belle
Mary Altaffer/AP
Bryan Trottier
Kathy Kmonicek/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “M*A*S*H” star Donald Sutherland, who was born in 1935; Queen Camilla, who was born in 1947; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), who was born in 1949; “Here’s Lucy” star Lucie Arnaz, who was born in 1951; “Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff, who was born in 1952; N.Y. Islanders legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier, who was born in 1956; “The Apprentice” creator Mark Burnett, who was born in 1960; “A Whole New World” singer Regina Belle, who was born in 1963; “Bill & Ted Face the Music” star Alex Winter, who was born in 1965; and “The Brave” star Mike Vogel, who was born in 1979.

David Hasselhoff
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

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LEGACY OF LAUGHS: Phyllis Diller was born on this day in 1917. With her incisive wit, legendary verve and singularly female presence in the standup comedy boys’ club, Diller broke ground and busted guts for more than 60 years. She made her standup debut as a 37-year-old housewife. Appearances on “The Tonight Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show” raised her profile, and a series of successful comedy albums appeared throughout the 1960s. She starred in films with mentor Bob Hope and was a regular on TV, often lending her trademark cackle to comedy and variety programs. She died in 2012.

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QUITE A RIDE: Disneyland opened on this day in 1955. Built in Anaheim, California, under the direct supervision of animation legend Walt Disney, the theme park has had more than 700 million visitors since it opened. Attractions include Splash Mountain, the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.

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

 

Quotable:

“Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.”

— comedian Phyllis Diller, who was born on this day in 1917


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