August 4: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
ON THIS DAY IN 1905, a Brooklyn Daily Eagle editorial said, “In the announcement that the wizard, Edison, has solved the problem of the electric propulsion of auto vehicles is involved the solution of the problem of a practicable storage battery. This is an achievement of greater utility than others that have brought him a wider fame. Storage batteries have been produced in the past to the establishment of the principle, but, as a rule, they have been impracticable because of the attendant expense of operation, if not of construction. It is now more than two years since it was rumored that Mr. Edison had solved the problem and had produced a battery that would not leak more energy than it gave and yet was light enough to justify its use in moving vehicles. It appears now that perfection was not then reached; that there were mechanical difficulties which had not been overcome and that the weight of the battery was too great. The announcement of the day is that such mechanical difficulty has been remedied and that the weight has been reduced to forty pounds per horsepower. The consequences to flow from a perfected vehicular motive power are many and important. The least of them is that which, apparently, is most prominent in consideration — the moving of light pleasure automobiles over continuous distances. Of far greater importance will its effect be on transportation of commerce within the cities. It will mean the final abolition of the trucks and drays drawn by horses that now throng the ways given over to trade.”
ON THIS DAY IN 1909, the Eagle said, “It was reported today that John R. Early, the former United States infantryman known as ‘Leper’ Early, had been released from the New York Skin and Cancer Hospital, in Manhattan, where he had been staying since his quarantine for a year in Washington as a leper. It was also stated that Early was living with his wife and family in a Brooklyn flat, in greatly improved health. The case of Early attracted not a little attention about a month ago, when he told of his year of torment, after having been branded as a leper, though he insisted that he had been merely poisoned in a pulp mill in the South. Early, according to his own story, did not take warning of the danger in his work in the North Carolina pulp mill, and his disease, at his own joking suggestion, was mistaken by a doctor examining him to be leprosy. Early declared that he did not get skin trouble in the Philippines. Notwithstanding that, however, he was isolated on the Eastern Branch Reservation for almost a year. Then he finally escaped from his quarantine in July and was taken to the New York Skin Hospital. Dr. Norman L. Bulkley of that institution and several other pathological experts, after thorough examination, informed the federal medical authorities that in their opinion Early never had leprosy. He was, however, treated for his skin troubles at the hospital. It was stated at the New York Skin Hospital this afternoon that Early was still an inmate of the institution. An official denied the report that Early was living in Brooklyn, and said that the rumor had emanated from a Washington newspaper. Early is greatly interested in Salvation Army work and his case is a very familiar one among the workers of that order.”
ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “KANSAS CITY, MO. (U.P.) — Leaders in a drive to move the Philadelphia Athletics to Kansas City were armed today with a formidable weapon in the form of a whopping 4-to-1 majority in a bond election to provide a major league baseball park. The news yesterday afternoon that a deal was imminent to transfer the 53-year-old American League franchise sent crowds of voters surging to the polls to vote ‘yes’ on a proposition to spend $2,000,000 to buy and enlarge the 17,200-capacity Blues Stadium to more than 30,000.”
ON THIS DAY IN 1961, the Bay Ridge Home Reporter said, “The two most dangerous intersections in Bay Ridge were pointed out this week in a Police Dept. ‘Hit Parade’ report on the most dangerous intersections throughout New York. A fatality at each intersection was included in the total of 76 auto accidents which occurred there in the past year, police said. Police Commissioner Michael J. Murphy has directed all precinct commanding officers to give ‘special attention’ to the locations to help reduce the city’s traffic toll. The two intersections are the Fort Hamilton Pkwy. exit from the Belt Pkwy. and the 66th St. entrance to the Belt Pkwy. Ranked in a list of nine intersections in the two Bay Ridge police precincts, the 68th and 64th precincts, the top danger spots were the scene, in addition to the two fatalities, of 15 personal injury and 24 property damage accidents at Fort Hamilton Pkwy. and 12 personal injury and 23 property damage accidents at the 66th St. entrance to the Belt Pkwy.”
NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include 1969 Mets World Series hero Cleon Jones, who was born in 1942; Pro Football Hall of Famer John Riggins, who was born in 1949; former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who was born in 1955; Oscar-winner Billy Bob Thornton, who was born in 1955; thoroughbred jockey Chuck C. Lopez, who was born in Brooklyn in 1960; former President Barack Obama, who was born in 1961; seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, who was born in 1962; “Hawaii Five-O” star Daniel Dae Kim, who was born in 1968; political correspondent Bret Baier, who was born in 1970; “Rectify” star Abigail Spencer, who was born in 1981; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who was born in 1981; “Barbie” director Greta Gerwig, who was born in 1983; soccer player Kelley O’Hara, who was born in 1988; and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” stars Cole and Dylan Sprouse, who were born in 1992.
Special thanks to “Chase’s Calendar of Events” and Brooklyn Public Library.
“Our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day. They’ve got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law.”
— former President Barack Obama, who was born on this day in 1961
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