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August 5: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

August 5, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1875, a Brooklyn Daily Eagle editorial said, “The romantic and beautiful life of Hans Christian Andersen came to an end yesterday, at Copenhagen. He was in years seventy one, in heart he was yet a child, full of sweet faith and earnest zeal, and intensely imbued with a love of his kind. His own career was as loveable as were the characters in his books, which millions of people long ago learned to appreciate … Most poetic of novelists and most charming of poets, he had won a double fame when he began to write fairy tales for the little folk. And as a writer for children he found the greatest recompense of all that had come to him. All that children asked of him was, more, more, and the most that they wanted was the story his own life — the life that had become through its genius a part of the existence of children all over the world.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1890, an Eagle editorial said, “[William] Kemmler, the wife murderer, and the first criminal to be subjected to electricity as the agent of his own death, instead of to the rope, as his predecessors have been, will be, it is expected, dispatched tonight or tomorrow. He may, however, have been dispatched today and the news of that fact may be officially certified to the Eagle before this issue of it goes to press. All the first things in the world make history. The first execution by electricity cannot but be regarded as an historical event. The first victim of such an agency cannot but be regarded in the annals of science and penology as an historical person.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1920, the Eagle reported, “Having harvested an initial crop of a larger quantity than ever before raised at the McCarren Park School Farm Grounds, children are at work today spading and raking the soil in preparation for the planting of a second crop. Boys and girls whose efforts led to the splendid crop now will watch interestingly the work of another group of children who have been assigned to the 500 individual plots in the park gardens.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — The United States practically conceded today that China is lost to the Communists, but warned Russia and her Chinese puppets not to carry the Red aggression in the Far East beyond China’s borders. The admission and the warning were contained in a State Department ‘white paper’ reviewing American policy in China, tracing the events leading to the collapse of Nationalist China, and revealing hitherto secret documents — including the long-suppressed Wedemeyer report. The government expressed belief that the Chinese people will rise up in revolt and ‘throw off the foreign yoke.’ And it promised to ‘encourage all developments in China which now and in the future work toward the end.’ But nowhere did it get specific about just how it proposes to do this. In a foreword to the 1,054-page document, Secretary of State Dean Acheson said of the Communist victory in China: ‘Nothing that this county did or could have done within the reasonable limits of its capabilities could have changed that result; nothing that was left undone by this country has contributed to it.’ This apparently was in answer to the repeated charges that the administration’s wait-and-see policy hastened the Communist conquest in China.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1953, the Eagle reported, “The City Transit Authority had its full quota of five members today, following Mayor Impellitteri’s appointment of Brooklyn attorney Harris J. Klein to replace Ephraim F. Jeffe, president of the Kings County Lighting Company, who resigned in protest of the 15-cent transit fare. Mr. Klein, who has represented trucking concerns the past 20 years, is 47 and lives at 215 Beaumont St., Manhattan. Regarding the transit fare, he said, “15 cents is too much.’”

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Maureen McCormick
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Paula Creamer
Wong Maye-E/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “WKRP in Cincinnati” star Loni Anderson, who was born in 1945; “One Life to Live” star Erika Slezak, who was born in 1946; “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” singer Rick Derringer, who was born in 1947; “The Brady Bunch” star Maureen McCormick, who was born in  1956; “Absolute Power” author David Baldacci, who was born in 1960; N.Y. Knicks legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing, who was born in 1962; “Brighton Beach Memoirs” star Jonathan Silverman, who was born in 1966; former N.Y. Mets and Yankees first baseman John Olerud, who was born in 1968; Olympian hurdler and bobsledder Lolo Jones, who was born in 1982; 2010 U.S. Women’s Open golf champion Paula Creamer, who was born in 1986; and “Cloak & Dagger” star Olivia Holt, who was born in 1997.

Patrick Ewing
Nick Wass/AP

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

 

Quotable:

“The important achievement of Apollo was demonstrating that humanity is not forever chained to this planet and our visions go rather further than that and our opportunities are unlimited.”

— astronaut Neil Armstrong, who was born on this day in 1930


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