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May 17: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

May 17, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1893, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “The Norwegian flag is flying from the staffs over the city hall and courthouse today in honor of the seventy-ninth anniversary of Norway’s day of independence. About five hundred years ago Sweden, Norway and Denmark constituted the Scandinavian kingdom. Shortly afterward Sweden withdrew and Norway and Denmark continued in union. The constitution drawn up still exists. The compact between Norway and Denmark existed until 1814 when Norway declared its independence and chose Kristian Frederik as her king. Sweden then declared war on her sister kingdom and in the fall of the same year Frederik was forced to abdicate. Although Sweden and Norway are now united under the same rule, and each has an equal share in the government, Independence Day is still celebrated by Norwegians.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1901, the Eagle reported, “William Ziegler, who is sponsor and backer of the Arctic exploration expedition which Evelyn B. Baldwin has planned to conduct, had some interesting things to say about the venture when seen at his home, Fifth avenue and Fiftieth street, Manhattan, today … Mr. Ziegler has given to Mr. Baldwin carte blanche for his outfit and equipment and stands willing to expend almost any amount of money before giving up the idea of discovering the North Pole and securing for America the credit of such discovery. In discussing the objects of the expedition Mr. Ziegler said that its purposes were three-fold. First, to locate exactly the North Pole and to plant the Stars and Stripes upon the spot; second, to determine exactly the location of the magnetic pole in the interests of scientific navigation, although so far as navigation south of the very high latitudes is concerned the location is sufficiently well determined for practical purposes; and third, to investigate most thoroughly the phenomenon of the aurora borealis. ‘I am glad to give Mr. Baldwin, as the most intrepid and able of the modern explorers, the opportunity to make what is sure to be his life work if he is successful,’ said Mr. Ziegler.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1934, the Eagle reported, “As part of a campaign by the Police Department to curb the passing of red lights by motorists, police radio cars today were empowered to issue summonses to violators of this ordinance. This was said to be a radical departure from procedure and the first time radio cars have participated in the enforcement of traffic regulations.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1944, the Eagle reported, “A wardrobe created for Ingrid Bergman in 1940, the year she came to the United States, is proving lucky for Angela Lansbury, youthful British actress recently signed by M-G-M. When Miss Lansbury was called to the studio for a test for ‘Gaslight,’ now at the Capitol Theater starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman and Joseph Cotten, she was handed a gown made for Miss Bergman’s role in ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.’ Angela won the part. Later when another scene was written into the script for her there was no time to fashion a new dress, but there was one in the wardrobe department that had never been used. This, too, had been originally made for Miss Bergman in ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.’ During a day off from her work in ‘Gaslight,’ the youthful actress was called to the studio to test for another role. She reported to the costume department. For the third time she was presented with a dress from the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ collection. ‘I hope my luck holds out,’ was Miss Lansbury’s comment.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (UPI) — Congress is expected to cut some hundreds of millions of dollars out of President Kennedy’s space budget this year. Does this mean the Apollo program to land men on the moon before 1970 is about to be abandoned? Or seriously jeopardized? Probably not. But it does mean that Congress and the country are having second thoughts about the U.S.-Russian race to the moon. The issue seems to be: Is the $20 billion lunar landing project worth the cost? Could the money be spent some other way? Last year it looked as though the country were irrevocably committed to Apollo. President Kennedy had set the moon landing goal. Congress, by approving his space budget without argument, apparently had approved it. But this year, with a $2 billion increase being sought in appropriations for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), critics are making themselves heard.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1963, the Brooklyn Record reported, “The greatest parade in the history of the Bay Ridge observance of Norway’s adoption of its constitution will be staged this Sunday, according to Kaarl Johansen, general chairman. Sponsored by the Sons of Norway, the highlight will be the crowning of pretty Miss Arna Skaarva as ‘queen’ by Edward R. McAuliffe, president of the Bay Ridge Savings Bank. The coronation ceremony is expected to take place at 3:30 p.m., in front of the special reviewing stand which has been set up at McKinley Park. Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman, who is listed as the main speaker; Dr. Einar Bredland, master of ceremonies; and Dr. George Aus, professor at the Luther Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., are on the program. Bay Ridge Savings Bank has been active in Norwegian community events and played an important role in presenting an important collection of Norway’s historic art to a select audience at the Brooklyn Museum. The preview was followed by a public showing which drew record attendance.”

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Nikki Reed
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Sugar Ray Leonard
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include blues musician Taj Mahal, who was born in 1942; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bill Bruford (Yes), who was born in 1949; International Boxing Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard, who was born in 1956; former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’Anno, who was born in 1958; “Orinoco Flow” singer Enya, who was born in 1961; comedian Craig Ferguson, who was born in 1962; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), who was born in 1965; former N.Y. Knicks guard Hubert Davis, who was born in 1970; New Kids on the Block singer Jordan Knight, who was born in 1970; Queens of the Stone Age founder Josh Homme, who was born in 1973; former NFL quarterback Matt Cassel, who was born in 1982; former NBA point guard Tony Parker, who was born in 1982; former N.Y. Knicks forward Channing Frye, who was born in 1983; and “Thirteen” star Nikki Reed, who was born in 1988.

Craig Ferguson
Todd Williamson/Invision/AP

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

 

Quotable:

“Fighters display two things. They display confidence, or they display a look that says, ‘I’m not sure.’”

— boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard, who was born on this day in 1956


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