Brooklyn Boro

August 14: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

August 14, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1868, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Bathers at Coney Island, Fort Hamilton, and other points along the shore, should be careful not to venture out far just about this time, as there is reason to believe a shoal of sharks are prowling about the bay. One of these murderous monsters, seven feet in length, was captured yesterday off the pier foot of Barclay Street, North River.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1908, the Eagle reported, “DAYTON — Orville Wright today shipped to Washington the aeroplane with which he will make flights at Fort Myer. He will go to Washington himself in a few days. Mr. Wright has perfect confidence in the result of the tests.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1910, the Eagle reported, “The importance of care in using every effort to control prairie fires was particularly emphasized the past week when a regiment of United States soldiers, who were engaged in the annual maneuvers in Montana, was hastily dispatched to assist the regular forest rangers of the Department of Agriculture in controlling large bush fires which were raging in and around the Yellowstone Park. Each year the importance of preventing, if possible, and controlling, regardless of expense, any fires in the forests is becoming realized by those who have watched the devastation of our forests and the scarcity of timber for all uses.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1936, the Eagle reported, “About ten tons of marijuana weed, which in the form of narcotic cigarettes would have been worth about $3,000,000, was out of circulation today following a bonfire ignited personally by Police Commissioner [Lewis] Valentine yesterday in a vacant lot near the police garage at the foot of 36th St. Commissioner Valentine, Capt. Joseph Mooney of the narcotic squad and other police officials watched the blaze, which burned for nearly three hours. Fifty bagatelle machines seized in police raids also were consigned to the flames. The weed had been collected during the past six months from various vacant lots in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx where it had been found growing, and had been stored in the police warehouse connected with the garage. It formed a heap about ten feet high and 50 feet wide, and, according to Commissioner Valentine, represented about 12,000,000 cigarettes. Captain Mooney said one pound of the weed, known to the underworld as ‘muggles’ or ‘loco-weed,’ would make about 600 cigarettes, selling at from 10 to 50 cents each.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1944, the Eagle reported, “HYANNIS, MASS. (U.P.) — Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., 21, a naval aviator and son of the former Ambassador to England, has been killed in the European theater, according to word received today … Young Kennedy had been on active duty as a navy pilot … A brother, Lt. John F. Kennedy, was commander of a PT boat in the navy. He returned to this country recently after having taken part in several hazardous engagements in the Pacific. For 10 days he was listed as missing, but later was rescued from a desolate island.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1945, the Eagle reported, “The city’s joy, long pent by tension, fear and disappointment, began to trickle out with the pre-dawn report of Japanese surrender in an increasing flow that promised to become a flood of jubilation as the day went on­. Chinatown, whose people have suffered the longest from war, was first to let go. Barely an hour after the 1:49 a.m. Domei flash, they were snake-dancing and shooting off firecrackers and breaking out flags along the narrow winding streets. By 6 a.m. the famous New Year’s papier-mache dragon was being paraded on Mott Street and extra police were out … Church bells started to ring in Flatbush, and before 4 a.m. there were bonfires in Borough Park and Red Hook … In the Borough Hall section, people pouring out of the subways to their jobs made a rush for papers.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “TAIPEI, FORMOSA (U.P.) — An estimated 100,000 Red Chinese infantrymen and 12,000 paratroopers have swung into position along the China coast facing Formosa, it was reported today. Chinatone News Agency, which claims close connections with Nationalist Chinese intelligence, said the troops bore the name of ‘Formosa Liberation Army’ and received intensive training by Communist instructors. The Chinatone report followed a declaration earlier in the day by Communist Chinese Premier Chou En-Lai that the Peiping regime is determined to ‘liberate’ Formosa. ‘The government of the People’s Republic of China once again declares that Taiwan (Formosa) is inviolably Chinese territory, that its occupation by the United States absolutely cannot be tolerated, and that it is equally intolerable to have it placed under UN trusteeship,’ Chou said. Chinatone said an entirely new command had been set up to attempt to carry out Red China’s repeated threat to assault Formosa. Nationalist quarters feared the Reds will attack Nationalist-held outpost islands off the China mainland coast before attempting to invade Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s island bastion.”

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Halle Berry
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Mila Kunis
Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include “Summer Breeze” singer Darrell Crofts, who was born in 1940; “The Jerk” star Steve Martin, who was born in 1945; “Kate & Allie” star Susan Saint James, who was born in 1946; romance novelist Danielle Steel, who was born in 1947; International Swimming Hall of Famer Debbie Meyer, who was born in 1952; former Commander of U.S. Forces – Afghanistan Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who was born in 1954; “Sister, Sister” star Jackee Harry, who was born in 1956; Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden, who was born in 1959; Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, who was born in 1959; Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, who was born in 1966; “JAG” star Catherine Bell, who was born in 1968; “That ’70s Show” star Mila Kunis, who was born in 1983; Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, who was born in 1987; and “Black-ish” star Marsai Martin, who was born in 2004.

Magic Johnson
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

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

 

Quotable:

“When you face a crisis, you know who your true friends are.”

— Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, who was born on this day in 1959


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