Brooklyn Boro

July 18: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

July 18, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1889, a Brooklyn Daily Eagle editorial said, “The reappearance of ‘Jack, the Ripper,’ in the Whitechapel district of London will renew the agitation for a reform of the police system of that capital. The latest butchery, the tenth of the series, was, if possible, even more barbarous than any which preceded it, for not only was the victim horribly mutilated, but the remains were dragged into the glare of a street lamp, as if to emphasize the murderer’s contempt for his pursuers.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1895, the Eagle reported, “Some excitement was caused at Aqueduct yesterday by the appearance of Under Sheriff Butler and a number of constables, who charged the management with open gambling. They interfered with only one race, however. There were 4,000 people at the track, and they had a good day’s sport. The event on the card was the Aqueduct handicap, which was won by Eagle Bird from Sir Francis, the odds on favorite.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1915, Eagle columnist Frederick Boyd Stevenson said, “How the financial and commercial situation in the United States will be affected by the war is a question arising every day. Our business in certain lines is growing, it is said. But how will our business be when peace is declared — as peace surely will be declared some day? The statesmen and the financiers, like the doctors, disagree — and who then can decide? There, for instance, is William C. Redfield, Secretary of Commerce, who says: ‘It is difficult, nay, it is doubtless risky to foretell what the ultimate effects of the current war shall be upon our commerce. We know where we were before the war began — a great and growing competitor of others who had many advantages over us. We know where we are now while the war goes on — the one great industrial and commercial country which is at peace and certain to remain so. We know that there is no other land in which a foreign buyer can place an order requiring months for its execution with the reasonable certainty that the alarms of war will not delay it. We know that we are passing over from the debtor to the creditor stage; that our floating debt is paid and much of our funded debt as well, and that we are paying more interest to ourselves and less to others. These things we know and are glad that they are so. No one with vision to see but sees that the United States holds a unique position and one of great dignity in the world today. What shall the future be?’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1916, the Eagle reported, “RIVERHEAD, L.I. — If Captain George A. Vail of Riverhead and his faithful mate, Bill Nesbitt, keep the rugged constitution that is now theirs, bathers in Peconic Bay need have but little more fear of sharks, because Capt. Vail and his crew are rapidly sweeping these scavengers of the sea out of the Upper Peconic. When Captain Vail visited his fish traps yesterday, he discovered, greatly to his amazement, that he had five more big sharks in one net and one in another trap. The largest of the half dozen measured a little over six feet. These are not classed as man-eaters, ‘but they’ll bite just as quick, young feller,’ Captain Alonzo Vail, another old salt in the Vail family, declared as reporters were inspecting the catch after it had been brought back to this village. That makes nine sharks that Captain Vail has caught within a week.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1951, the Eagle reported, “Daring marijuana farmers have virtually taken over the vacant lots of Brooklyn and Queens, an angry Department of Sanitation official said today. The department has dug up and destroyed nearly $6,000,000 worth of the drug plant in Brooklyn in the last 30 days and the same amount in Queens. The dope ring topped off its daring by establishing a ‘farm’ in a lot in the heart of Brooklyn’s projected Civic Center, where 300 pounds of the plant, worth over $100,000 at current prices, were destroyed at Concord and Washington Sts. yesterday by a Sanitation Department crew led by Inspector John E. Gleason. The plants ranged in height from six feet to several inches and Inspector Gleason estimated that the planting was two years old. They were growing profusely in a welter of bricks from torn up buildings, old papers and asphalt shingles taken from the roofs of houses torn down to make way for the Civic Center. Inspector Gleason has a picked squad of men trained to recognize the poisonous plant on sight. Of 81 localities checked in Brooklyn in the past month, 35 were found to have plantings of marijuana.”

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Wendy Williams
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Kristen Bell
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Olympic gold-medal winning figure skater Tenley Albright, who was born in 1935; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dion DiMucci, who was born in 1939; “Hotel” star James Brolin, who was born in 1940; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Martha Reeves, who was born in 1941; business magnate Richard Branson, who was born in 1950; “Downton Abbey” star Elizabeth McGovern, who was born in 1961; talk show host Wendy Williams, who was born in 1964; Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete Dan O’Brien, who was born in 1966; “Fast & Furious” star Vin Diesel, who was born in 1967; “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert, who was born in 1969; former N.Y. Knicks guard Penny Hardaway, who was born in 1971; rapper and singer M.I.A., who was born in 1975; “Fast & Furious” star Elsa Pataky, who was born in 1976; “Veronica Mars” star Kristen Bell, who was born in 1980; and “Gossip Girl” star Chace Crawford, who was born in 1985.

Vin Diesel
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

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A FREE MAN: Nelson Mandela was born in South Africa on this day in 1918. After earning his law degree, he joined the African National Congress in 1944 and became deputy national president in 1952. His activities in the struggle against apartheid led to his conviction for sabotage in 1964. During his 28 years in jail, he remained a symbol of hope to South Africa’s non-white majority. He was released in 1990 and elected president in 1994. He died in 2013.

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TAKING FLIGHT: John Glenn was born on this day in 1921. The Ohio native was a fighter pilot during World War II and the Korean War. He was one of the original “Mercury 7” astronauts in 1959 and became the first American to orbit the earth in 1962. He served four terms in the U.S. Senate from 1974 to 1999 and became the oldest person to travel into space when he joined a shuttle mission in 1998. He died in 2016.

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

 

Quotable:

“It’s something to see a satellite being launched from another satellite.”

— astronaut John Glenn, who was born on this day in 1921


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