ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY


ON THIS DAY OF 1918, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Civil Service Commissioner Travis H. Whitney today issued a blunt statement in the form of a protest against the clerk magistrate role assumed by the mayor [John F.] Hylan in the Brighton Line Horror Investigation. Commissioner Whitney raised the issue of the mayor’s inability to exercise the functions of judicial officer in the present proceedings. He claims that the mayor himself, while a motorist on the BRT, was fired from the department for cornering at excessive speed, and he asks if it is fair that a union member (the Mayor Hylan is a member of local 419, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers) is the judicial officer competent to rule on the case of a person who was helping the BRT to operate despite the strike of its ‘L’ engine manufacturers. Whitney’s statement is essentially a direct attack on Mayor Hylan and the course he took in the disaster investigation.

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ON THIS DAY OF 1948, the Eagle reported: “The elected Bertram L. Baker of the 17th AD today had the distinction of being the first black ever elected to public office in Brooklyn. Nominated by the Democratic and American Labor parties, he garnered 21,086 votes, including 5,392 on the ALP line. His opponent, Ms. Maude B. Richardson, also Negro, who was supported by the Republican and Liberal parties, received 11,628 ballots, including 2,777 votes from the Liberal Party. Mr. Baker, a 50-year-old public accountant who lives at 399 Jefferson Ave., will succeed Democratic MP John J. Walsh, who did not run for office. Confidential employee of the Borough President [John] Cashmore, Baker also served as the Assistant Collector of Assigned Internal Revenue at the Brooklyn Income Tax Bureau… Born in Nevis, British West Indies, Baker, a father of two married daughters, arrived in that country in 1915. He lived in the Region of Bedford-Stuyvesant since 1923.

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ON THIS DAY OF 1953, the Eagle reported: “The impressive mayoral election victory won by Robert F. Wagner Jr., 43-year-old son of the late United States Senator, was hailed today by Democrats as the first step in the fight for regain control of the governor’s residence in Albany. Colorless in previous political battles, Wagner won his triumph primarily on a platform of New Deal-Fair Deal principles over Republican Harold Riegelman, who was supported by the president [Dwight] Eisenhower and Governor [Thomas] Dewey. Anti-Crime Liberal Party candidate Rudolph Halley won a poor third and couldn’t work enough to deal with the big Democrats who continued to fire for Wagner. Two of Wagner’s most active backers – Rep. Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. and Averell Harriman – immediately rose to prominence as possible candidates for Democratic governorate next year. Both indicated that they were available for the nod. Even senior Republican officials have admitted that the GOP “is in political trouble” and Democratic Senator Herbert Lehman argued that Wagner’s victory “marks a return to the attitude of our people under the New Deal.” Harriman, a longtime New Dealer, predicted the trend would continue next year, bringing a return to the “same philosophy in Albany and Washington.”

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ON THIS DAY OF 1954, the Eagle reported, “The New York City Ballet’s one-night magical production of ‘The Nutcracker’ moved downtown last night for what promises to be a long and profitable run. This colorful work, with music by Tchaikovsky and choreography by George Balanchine, was so successful when it was presented last season that the company decided to give it an additional special engagement this fall. With many performances already sold out, it became necessary to extend the engagement, which was originally scheduled to end on November 29.

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Matthew McConaughey
Evan Agostini / Invision / AP
Orlando Rhythm
Tony Dejak / AP

REMARKABLE PEOPLE BORN THIS DAY includes 1960 National League MVP Dick groat, who was born in 1930; Star “M * A * S * H” Loretta Swit, who was born in 1937; singer-songwriter Delbert mcclinton, who was born in 1940; former first lady Laura Bush, who was born in 1946; Author of “Cold Mountain” Charles Frazier, who was born in 1950; old walt disney frame Anne Sweeney, who was born in 1957; Star “Cobra Kai” Ralph macchio, who was born in 1961; “Survivor” host Jeff Probst, who was born in 1961; rapper and entrepreneur Sean Combs, who was born in 1969; Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, who was born in 1969; Tv personality Bethenny frankel, who was born in 1970; Professional Football Hall of Fame Orlando Rhythm, who was born in 1975; and former NFL Returns Specialist Devin Hester, who was born in 1982.

Laura Bush
Marie Schwalm / AP

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FOLLOW THE MOM: Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered in Luxor, Egypt on this day in 1922.

Tutankhamun became pharaoh at the age of 9 and died at age 19 around 1352 BC. Amid rumors that a curse had been imposed on its discoverers, King Tut’s Tomb has become a pop culture phenomenon, inspiring books, movies, and even a 1978 hit song by comedian Steve Martin.

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TERROR IN TEHRAN: Iran’s hostage crisis began on that day in 1979, when around 500 Iranians seized the US embassy in Tehran, taking some 90 hostages, including 66 Americans. They vowed to hold the hostages until former Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – who was in the United States for medical treatment – is returned to Iran to stand trial. The Shah died on July 27, 1980 in an Egyptian military hospital near Cairo. Fourteen Americans were freed in 1979 and 1980, but the remaining 52 hostages were not released until January 20, 1981, after 444 days in captivity. The release took place on the day of the inauguration, as the US presidency was transferred from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.

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

Quote:

“The power of a book lies in its power to transform a solitary act into a shared vision. As long as we have books, we are not alone.

– former First Lady Laura Bush, born that day in 1946

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