Brooklyn Boro

May 26: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

May 26, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1918, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON, MAY 25 — “‘The United States has in Europe today the largest army every transported overseas by any nation in the history of the world,’ General Peyton C. March, chief of staff, told members of the House and Senate Military Committees in the weekly conferences on Friday and today. While it is forbidden to give exact figures, it can be told that the total number now exceeds 650,000 men. Secretary of War [Newton D.] Baker announced on April 24 that there were more than 500,000 men in France. A month has intervened since that time. An idea of the number of additional troops that have gone over is contained in the statement of Representative [Charles Pope] Caldwell of New York that 90,000 troops were embarked during the first ten days of May. Another criterion of the rapidity with which troops are being moved is the fact that more than 600,000 draft men have been summoned to camp during April and May, most of them replacing men who have been moved to embarkation camps and placed aboard ship. More than 200,000 Americans will be sent abroad during May and that number probably will be much exceeded next month, members of the Senate Military Committee were told today at their weekly conference with Secretary Baker and his assistants.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1942, the Eagle reported, “LONDON (U.P.) — A mighty air armada from the assembly lines of America is ready to strike directly at the Axis, Great Britain was assured today as two ranking United States aerial commanders joined British strategists in framing plans for an offensive in western Europe. American planes, ammunition and fuel are in readiness for a huge American expeditionary force in cooperation with the R.A.F. offensive against the continent, it was understood after the arrival of Lt. Gen. Henry H. Arnold, chief of the U.S. Army air forces, and Rear Admiral John H. Towers, chief of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics. It was indicated that air attacks would be merely the first direct blows planned for American expeditionary forces in Europe. The presence of Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a tank expert, and of Maj. Gen. Mark W. Clark, infantry specialist, in the American mission was regarded as foreshadowing plans for early participation of United States forces in Commando raids on the Axis-held European coast and perhaps an Allied invasion thrust designed to relieve the hard-pressed Russian armies. The American officers bolstered this speculation by a whirlwind series of conferences in which they were understood to have seen or arranged to see Prime Minister Churchill, Lord Mountbatten, the leader of the British Commandos; Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Portal and other British war leaders.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1943, the Eagle reported, “HEADQUARTERS, ALLIED STRATEGIC AIR FORCE, NORTH AFRICA (UP) — While Virgil Pinkley, United Press correspondent, was talking to crew members of Flying Fortresses who had just returned from their devastating raid on Messina, Sgt. Edmund Pepper walked up and said: ‘How about Brooklyn, too? My home is at 409-A 20th St., Brooklyn, next door to Green-Wood Cemetery. I’m a waist gunner and I want the Brooklyn Eagle, which is a swell newspaper, to know that the good old Dodgertown was represented, too.’ Sergeant Pepper’s parents are dead and he lived at the 20th St. address with his brother, Charles, his sister-in-law and their two children until a year ago. He is 29 and a graduate of St. Francis High School.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1944, the Eagle reported, “Drafting of 17-year-old boys and plans for compulsory postwar military training were condemned in resolutions adopted at a postconvention session of the board of managers of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers yesterday at the Hotel Pennsylvania. The resolutions asked that 17-year-olds be excused from military service ‘until more effective use is made of available man and womanpower.’ Strong opposition was registered to House Resolutions 1806 and 3947 or ‘any similar measure committing the nation at this time to a postwar program of universal military training.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1954, the Eagle reported, “QUONSET POINT, R.I. (UP) — At least 79 men were killed and 220 injured early today when fire swept the huge U.S. aircraft carrier Bennington while it was returning from a routine training cruise off the New England coast. The Navy said names of the dead and injured would be withheld at least until the stricken carrier arrived at Quonset … The Bennington, a 10-year-old warship displacing 33,100 tons and 899 feet long, was en route from Norfolk to Quonset when the disaster occurred. Cause of the fire was not disclosed in meager reports released by the Navy here … The first aircraft carrier built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the U.S.S. Bennington was launched Feb. 27, 1944. A 27,000-ton vessel at the time, her displacement was increased to 32,000 tons by a two-year modernization and reconstruction job … She was in action during the last seven months of the Pacific war off Japan, at Iwo Jima and at Okinawa. During maneuvers off Cuba on April 27, 1953, one of her boilers exploded, killing 11 crewmen and injuring seven others.”

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Stevie Nicks
Charles Sykes/AP
Lenny Kravitz
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include sportscaster Brent Musburger, who was born in 1939; The Guess Who drummer Garry Peterson, who was born in 1945; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac), who was born in 1948; “Foxy Brown” star Pam Grier, who was born in 1949; “Miami Vice” star Philip Michael Thomas, who was born in 1949; singer-songwriter Hank Williams Jr., who was born in 1949; N.Y. Jets Ring of Honor member Wesley Walker, who was born in 1955; “Independence Day” star Margaret Colin, who was born in Brooklyn in 1958; “General Hospital” star Genie Francis, who was born in 1962; “Are You Gonna Go My Way” singer Lenny Kravitz, who was born in 1964; Oscar-winning actress Helena Bonham Carter, who was born in 1966; “South Park” co-creator Matt Stone, who was born in 1971; singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill, who was born in 1975; “CSI” star Elisabeth Harnois, who was born in 1979; N.Y. Rangers left winger Jimmy Vesey, who was born in 1993; and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who was born in 1999.

Matt Stone
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

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

 

Quotable:

“If you have stage fright, it never goes away. But then I wonder: Is the key to that magical performance because of the fear?”

— Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stevie Nicks, who was born on this day in 1948


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