Brooklyn Boro

August 17: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

August 17, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1902, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “During the past week the President has announced the granting, under certain conditions, of the Commercial Pacific Cable Company’s application to be allowed to land its cables on the shore of the United States, of the Hawaiian Islands, of Guam and in the Philippines. This means that the great dream of the late John W. Mackay will be realized, and that right shortly. Few people understand what a colossal dream that is. The officials of the company here say that everything is still in ‘a very embryonic state,’ but none the less within a few months work will be begun and probably within two years one will be able to cable to Honolulu without pretty well circling the globe to do it.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1913, the Eagle reported, “Query: If the Brooklyn team in the first game of a doubleheader can curl up and play dead and lose by 1 to 0, and in the second game conduct itself in a manner truly fiendish, making twenty hits for thirty-seven bases off three pitchers and win by 14 to 8, when is a Governor not a Governor? And why is Mayor whose police can spend all night throwing patrons out of a respectable restaurant, but cannot spare ten minutes to run down the baseball pool grafters? The answer seems to be minus more or less, plus a little doubt. At least that is the present state of mind of the fans who saw the doubleheader which the Brooklyn Superbas played with the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday at Ebbets Field, and which resulted in the scores mentioned. Held helpless by  the southpaw delivery of Slim Sallee, those Superbas were a sadsome sight to see. Yet the day before they had hopped the left-handed shoots of Hank Robinson, of Pittsburgh, and chased him from the box in the ninth inning of a game that was destined to go fourteen innings. Then, when Manager Huggins hurled against them three right handers in the second game yesterday, the Superbas fell upon those poor souls with such vigor that they made a season’s record for themselves in slugging.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1933, the Eagle reported, “KINGS POINT, L.I. — In the waters of Manhasset Bay a school of sharks eight to ten feet long has made its temporary headquarters. Chief of Police Thomas P. McNamara has warned all whom it may concern, especially bathers and boatmen. Testimony of a dozen witnesses heard by the police chief agreed that wicked sharks’ fins have been seen flicking through the bay, and not one at a time but several. It is the first time sharks have been sighted here in 15 years. There are ten incorporated villages on the edge of Manhasset Bay and McNamara sent out his warning to all of them to take proper precautionary measures. Sgt. Howard DeMott of the new marine division of the county police went out in a speedboat to warn bathers on public and private beaches.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1935, the Eagle reported, “Brooklynites were visibly shocked at the tragic death of Will Rogers, beloved comedian, and Wiley Post, one of the outstanding aviators of America. In restaurants, street cars, subways, shops, wherever people congregate the topic of conversation was the airplane accident responsible for the sudden passing of two of the best known and best liked men in the country … Mrs. Floyd Bennett, widow of the navy hero for whom the Brooklyn flying field is named and a personal friend of Mr. and Mrs. Wiley Post, was deeply shocked. Struggling to restrain her emotion, Mrs. Bennett in her Flatbush home said: ‘I am terribly shocked and can hardly express myself intelligently. This news has upset me all day. I knew Wiley Post so well and I know his wife intimately. I am dreadfully sorry for her. I know just what she is suffering now. Wiley Post was one of our best aviators. He had tried so hard to promote flying in the stratosphere, that is, he had experimented with a real plane, and he was the only one who has done that to any extent. And he was so interested in Floyd Bennett Field. He always flew from here whenever it was at all possible.’”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1946, the Eagle reported, “Plans for the Coney Island Oceanarium, successor to the Battery’s Aquarium, were announced today. Park Department officials said the ‘design is set and the final working drawings are now being made.’ While no specific estimate of the number of fish to be housed was made, it was made clear the number would be much higher than at the Aquarium, whose specimens are now in the lion house of the Bronx Zoo. Originally estimated to cost $1,500,000 three years ago when jointly proposed by Park Commissioner Robert Moses and the New York Zoological Society, current estimates are exactly double that figure. The Oceanarium, to be located on a site bounded by the Boardwalk, Surf Ave. and W. 5th and W. 8th Sts., will contain four exhibit halls, to include tropical fish, electric eels, edible fish, a diorama of the cycle of water life, a restaurant, snack bars, refrigerated penguin enclosure and walrus and seal pools.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948, the Eagle reported, “Those who cheered Babe Ruth alive will be able to see him once again — in the Yankee Stadium, ‘the House that Ruth built.’ There in the Bronx arena George Herman Ruth climbed to the heights of baseball glory. There he batted most of the 60 home runs of a single season, a glittering record. There he became the Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, the beloved of millions of fans of all ages. And there he was taken today to lie in state, beginning at 5 p.m., for the host of his admirers to pass by his casket for a last farewell … Through all these hours the Stadium gates will be open to all comers and no tickets will be required. Young and old, the rich and poor, men and women and boys of all ages, all the broad sweep of Americans who love baseball and loved Ruth — all these, it was expected, would file by all that remains of the once mighty physique of Babe Ruth.”

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Belinda Carlisle
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Jorge Posada
Kathy Willens/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro, who was born in 1943; Oracle Corporation co-founder Larry Ellison, who was born in 1944; “Valley Girl” director Martha Coolidge, who was born in 1946; “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, who was born in 1949; guitar virtuoso Eric Johnson, who was born in 1954; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Belinda Carlisle (the Go-Go’s), who was born in 1958; “The Corrections” author Jonathan Franzen, who was born in 1959; Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn, who was born in 1960; “Blue Bloods” star Donnie Wahlberg, who was born in 1969; International Tennis Hall of Famer Jim Courier, who was born in 1970; former N.Y. Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, who was born in 1971; former NBA forward Rudy Gay, who was born in Brooklyn in 1986; “The Bling Ring” star Taissa Farmiga, who was born in 1994; and figure skater Gracie Gold, who was born in 1995.

Robert De Niro
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

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

 

Quotable:

“People tend to view history as if it were another planet and think the modern world was invented in 1963. I don’t agree.”

— “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, who was born on this day in 1949


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