August 21: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
ON THIS DAY IN 1901, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle published the following letter: “About Lahaina, Hawaii: In previous communications the beautiful scenery of this town has been referred to, as well as the climatic conditions, which are just what is needed by delicate persons with a tendency toward pulmonary diseases. Although Lahaina was never officially known as the capital of the Hawaiian Islands, for many years it was the favorite resort of the royal family and the palace is still in good repair. The Pioneer Mill Company, as the name implies, was the first established organization for the manufacture of sugar in the islands, and, under the present management, the plantation of 5,000 acres is producing large profits for the owners. Some idea of the prosperity of the town may be derived from the following post office report, which is kindly furnished by Postmaster A. Waal: ‘Amount received for domestic money orders from July 12, 1900, to the same date of the present year: $164,917.63. Registered letters, 2,810.’ This record (so far as the amount received is concerned) makes Lahaina the second office in the Islands, being surpassed only by the post office at Honolulu. The sea bathing at Lahaina is delightful, the water being so nearly the temperature of the human body that persons can remain in the water for hours without danger of taking cold.”
ON THIS DAY IN 1906, the Eagle reported, “The work of reconstructing Fort Hamilton is to be begun at once. For many years the officers connected with this army post have been unceasing in their efforts to have the present old, unserviceable buildings replaced by modern structures which would meet the requirements of the fort and garrison … Fort Hamilton is one of the heavily armed coast defenses of the country, and is the headquarters of the Southern Artillery District of New York. Connected with Fort Wadsworth by cables in an elaborate system of fire control, the two forts combined form the strongest fortification on the Atlantic coast, and are the chief defense of the city against hostile attack by way of the southern entrance to the harbor. A new system of communication between the two forts for the location of vessels by day and night has recently been installed, which, in thoroughness and efficiency, is unsurpassed in the service. That the post itself is to be reconstructed on a scale in keeping with its importance and location in the city is eminently proper.”
ON THIS DAY IN 1949, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (U.P.) — Representative Walter H. Judd (R., Minn.), today accused the State Department of ignoring a 1945 ‘top secret report’ disclosing Russian guidance of the Chinese Communist movement. The report showed that the present Chinese crisis could have been prevented, Judd said. ‘It is inexcusable that it was allowed to develop,’ he added. Judd said he has had the report for four years, but never felt free to release it until the State Department came out ‘with all the secret documents which it could find to bolster its own feeble case.’ In view of the 1945 report, originally prepared for military intelligence by top military and civilian analysts, Judd said: ‘I can only say that Secretary of State Dean Acheson seems determined to make impossible a continuance of the fine bipartisan foreign policy which has been responsible for such foreign policy victories as we have won.’ He charged that Acheson has opposed a consistent policy in Asia ‘where Communism is not just a threat, as in Western Europe, but a cruel actuality.’”
ON THIS DAY IN 1959, the Bay Ridge Home Reporter said, “A groundbreaking ceremony was held at noon last Thursday, August 13 at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island to signal the start of construction of the $320,000,000 Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which will link Brooklyn and Staten Island. The bridge will be constructed by the Port of New York Authority and operated, maintained and subsequently purchased by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority on or before January 1, 1967. Initial financing already has been arranged by the Port Authority. Robert Moses, Chairman of the Triborough Authority, presided … When completed in 1965, the bridge will provide the first direct connection between Staten Island and the other four New York City boroughs since Staten Island was settled 298 years ago. Ferries are the only present direct means of transportation between Staten Island, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Three Port Authority bridges, the Bayonne and Goethals Bridges and the Outerbridge Crossing, provide connection with New Jersey … The bridge will present a majestic sight as it reaches across the Narrows in the lower bay with the longest and highest suspension span of any bridge in the world. It will be a double-deck bridge with six traffic lanes on each level … The anchorages will be located at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn and Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island.”
NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Rock and Roll Hall of Famer James Burton, who was born in 1939; “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” singer Jackie DeShannon, who was born in 1941; “Witness” director Peter Weir, who was born in 1944; “The Bad Seed” star Patty McCormack, who was born in Brooklyn in 1945; “Boston Public” star Loretta Devine, who was born in 1949; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steve Smith (Journey), who was born in 1954; “Sex and the City” star Kim Cattrall, who was born in 1956; former N.Y. Giants running back Reuben Droughns, who was born in 1978; sprinter and eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, who was born in 1986; “Heroes” star Hayden Panettiere, who was born in 1989; and “Eighth Grade” director Bo Burnham, who was born in 1990.
Special thanks to “Chase’s Calendar of Events” and Brooklyn Public Library.
“Of course, there are a lot of ways you can treat the blues, but it will still be the blues.”
— musician Count Basie, who was born on this day in 1904
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