Brooklyn Boro

June 16: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

June 16, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle History
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ON THIS DAY IN 1919, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle said, “Over about twenty square miles of Long Island, with the Massapequa swamp as a center, the cicada in millions is doing its deadly work. The so-called seventeen-year locust is really not a locust at all. It is more properly called a ‘harvest fly.’ But its noise is kept up from daylight to dusk, auto drivers have to put up windshields to get through its flights, and all vegetable life is devastated by the pest. A similar affliction is reported in a large section around Red Bank, New Jersey. The seventeen-year periodicity is not a mere tradition, but is backed by entomological science. The female lays eggs in tree branches. When hatched these fall to the ground, as the larva, and burrow. Underground the larva lives till in the course of years it becomes the pupa, an intermediate form. Then it digs to the surface, and soon appears as a full-formed cicada, with wings and an awful voice. The cicada is called the longest-lived of all insects. There are broods visiting the Southern States which have a periodicity of thirteen years instead of seventeen. The eggs and larvae are fine food for toads, frogs, woodpeckers and the harmless snakes. But the most voracious enemy of the cicada is the common English sparrow. Long Island has never encouraged the harmless snakes and it has been distinctly unfriendly to the English sparrow. Hence we are without our natural allies in meeting the pest when it comes.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1926, the Eagle reported, “PHILADELPHIA — Thirty-three men from Long Island, of whom 16 are residents of Brooklyn, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania today at the university’s 170th annual commencement exercises in Weightman Hall on the campus in Philadelphia. More than 1,700 degrees or certificates were awarded. The Long Island representation in the graduating class included Walter F. O’Malley of Amityville, class president.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1931, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (AP) — Action on the request of Washington Post trustees for approval of the sale of the newspaper to David Lawrence for $3,000,000 is scheduled tomorrow in the District of Columbia Supreme Court. Action will not come, however, until other bidders have an opportunity  to submit offers. Geoffrey Konta, New York attorney, plans to place the offer of William Randolph Hearst before Justice Adkins.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1932, the Eagle reported, “CHICAGO — Reluctant renomination of Charles Curtis for Vice President appeared one of the strong possibilities, as the Republican National Convention faced the problem of choosing a running mate for Herbert Hoover. In the face of an almost universal desire on the part of delegates to ditch Mr. Curtis in favor of a more spectacular and more vigorous candidate, able to bear the brunt of the Republican campaign, the chances appeared more favorable to Mr. Curtis this morning than heretofore, owing to the absence of available alternatives. With Charles G. Dawes self-eliminated there was a strong move during the night and this morning for Ogden L. Mills of New York, Secretary of the Treasury, but the rumor spread that Mr. Mills under no circumstances would accept. An authoritative statement from him was lacking, however. Friends of Haniford MacNider of Iowa, former American Legion head, former Assistant Secretary of War, and now serving as Minister to Canada, were booming him for the nomination, but the objection was heard that Mr. MacNider isn’t well enough known for the job. He is 43. Walter E. Edge of New Jersey, Ambassador to France, and Secretary of War Patrick Jay Hurley of Oklahoma were other possibilities. Noon, Eastern Daylight Time, was the hour fixed for today’s session, probably the last of the convention. It had on its bill of particulars almost nothing but the nomination of a ticket.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1944, the Eagle reported, “Ringgold W. Carman, 100, the last surviving G.A.R. member of Queens County, died today at his home, 147-58 41st Ave., Flushing. He had been in failing health since last Fall and was unable to take part in the parade on Memorial Day as had been his custom for many years. He viewed it, however, from his bedroom window, the parade having been rerouted this year so that he might witness it.”

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Laurie Metcalf
Andy Cropa/Invision/AP
Abby Elliott
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include National Book Award recipient Joyce Carol Oates, who was born in 1938; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Eddie Levert (The O’Jays), who was born in 1942; former Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell, who was born in 1946; “Roseanne” star Laurie Metcalf, who was born in 1955; 1981 NBA Rookie of the Year Darrell Griffith, who was born in 1958; World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson, who was born in 1970; “Star Trek” star John Cho, who was born in 1972; “Third Watch” star Eddie Cibrian, who was born in 1973; Olympic gold medalist and former N.Y. Ranger left-winger Rick Nash, who was born in 1984; former “Saturday Night Live” star Abby Elliott, who was born in 1987; and “Best Friends Whenever” star Lauren Taylor, who was born in 1998.

John Cho
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

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WORDS OF WISDOM: Abraham Lincoln delivered his “House Divided” speech on this day in 1858. Beginning his campaign for an Illinois U.S. Senate seat, he addressed the Republican State Convention at Springfield, saying, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”

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A NEW PERSPECTIVE: John Howard Griffin was born on this day in 1920. The American author and photographer was deeply concerned about racial problems in the U.S. To better understand black life in the South, he darkened his skin with chemicals and ultraviolet light and kept a journal during his travels. The result was his best-known book, “Black Like Me” (1961). He died in 1980.

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

 

Quotable:

“Fear dims even the sunlight.”

— author John Howard Griffin, who was born on this day in 1920


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