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Milestones: Weekend, August 26-27, 2023

August 26, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BROOKLYN DODGERS WON FIRST TELEVISED GAME — BROOKLYN’S EBBETS FIELD WAS THE SITE of the nation’s first televised Major League baseball game, on Aug. 26, 1939, on station W2XBS, which at the time was a testing platform for the experimental Radio Corporation of America’s Photophone theater television system, and utilized a low-definition mechanical television scanning system. RCA established the National Broadcasting Company in 1926, which became the nation’s oldest TV network. However, regular programming would not develop until much later when more Americans owned television sets, in the mid-1950s.

During the Aug. 26, 1939 game, legendary announcer Red Barber called the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York. Of course, the Brooklyn Dodgers won, 6-1 against the Reds.


MOST VIOLENT POLITICAL CONVENTION — ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS DISRUPTED THE START of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago on Aug. 26 of that year. The protesters threw their anger at the top candidate and presumed nominee, Hubert Humphrey, who at the time was Vice President, for his support of the Vietnam War. The four-day convention went into history books as being the most violent in United States history, particularly on the part of National Guardsmen and police, who beat hundreds of people, including innocent bystanders, and members of the press who were not engaged in the protest. CBS News Correspondent Mike Wallace was punched in the face.

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The violence did not end after Humphrey was nominated and the convention wrapped up. A federal commission investigating the violence described it as a police riot, placing the blame on Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Later, the Chicago Eight, a group of political radicals were arrested and, in 1969, put on trial for the violence — which beget new protests.


WOMEN WIN SUFFRAGE FIGHT — THE 19TH AMENDMENT, WHICH GUARANTEED WOMEN THE RIGHT to vote, was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution on Aug. 26, 1920, after Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify it. The two-part amendment, which was the fruit of a seven-decade struggle by women suffragists to have a say in their government, was brief: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” and “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

However, some states and cities found ways to circumvent the amendment by enacting poll taxes, local laws, and other impediments that blocked women of color from voting, until the 1964 Voting Rights Law was enacted.


FOUGHT HER BAN FROM THE US OPEN — TRANSGENDER ATHLETE RENÉE RICHARDS WAS BANNED on Aug. 27, 1976, from competing in the US Open Tennis Tournament. The tournament ordered Richards to undergo and pass a chromosomal test, which she failed. Born Richard Raskind in 1934, the athlete excelled in tennis during high school and then captained the men’s tennis team at Yale, became an ophthalmologist while still playing professional tennis and made the US Open Semifinals in 1972. She underwent gender-affirming surgery, becoming Renee Richards.

The year after Richards was denied the right to play in the US Open, she litigated and won from the NY State Supreme Court the right to compete.


THE BATTLE OF BROOKLYN, WHICH IS COMMEMORATED each year, including this weekend, at the highest point of Green-Wood Cemetery, was fought on Aug. 27, 1776. During the American Revolution, General George Washington suffered defeat under British forces and their commander General William Howe, who also allegedly hired a group of German mercenaries to help rout the colonial army during a major skirmish referred to as the Battle of Brooklyn (Battle of Long Island). Howe’s strategy was to capture New York City and take control of the Hudson River, thus dividing the colonies. Howe’s army marched into Brooklyn Heights and overpowered the Continental Army at Gowanus Point.

But then Howe dismissed his subordinates’ advice to storm the fortification on Brooklyn Heights, creating a window of opportunity for Washington to lead a shrewd retreat to Manhattan. Washington thus saved his army from being captured.


A PUB OWNER STARTED THE GUINNESS BOOK — THE GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS WAS FIRST PUBLISHED in Great Britain on Aug.27, 1955, and was an immediate hit. The compendium got its inspiration from a hunting trip in Ireland, where Sir Hugh Beaver, managing director of the Guinness Brewery (which dates back to 1759), having failed to shoot a golden plover he had spotted, debated whether this was the fastest game bird in Europe. Beaver had the idea that his pub patrons might enjoy a record book that could be used to settle friendly disagreements, and so hired twin brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter, who ran a London-based agency that provided facts and statistics to newspapers and advertisers. While the book was intended as a freebie to his pub customers, it proved so popular that Guinness began selling it that fall.

An American edition of the book, now titled “Guinness World Records,” was published in 1956 and has become an annual compendium of accomplishments by humans and other creatures alike.

See previous milestones, here.

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