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ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

ON THIS DAY IN 1912The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported: “The stars and stripes of the nation will be rearranged and born anew on the Fourth of July. The United States will on this day throw forth into the world as its official flag a banner never before seen. The occasion is the admission of two new states, Arizona and New Mexico, into the Union. This necessitates the addition of two new stars to the flag, and so it becomes necessary to revise the old banner in keeping with the enlarged Union. As the nation was born on the Fourth of July, it has become customary to make this date the birthday of the new flags. Whenever during the past century a state was admitted to the Union, a new flag with the rearrangement of the stars was born on the Fourth of July following. The flag which has been official since July Fourth, 1907, after the admission of Oklahoma, will become obsolete next Thursday. In place of that banner with its 46 stars arranged in irregular rows, will appear the new flag with its block of stars in six rows of eight stars each.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1915The Eagle reported: “PHILADELPHIA — Preliminary tests of the specially built steel flat car on which the Liberty Bell will be carried across the continent to the California Exposition were completed today. While traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour over a network of switches in a local rail yard, a glass filled with water was placed on the floor of the car and not a drop was spilled. The car is of all-steel construction and can support a weight of more than 100,000 pounds. An axle-driven electric generator installed under the platform will charge the batteries for the hundreds of incandescent lamps used to illuminate the bell during the nights during the trip.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1921The Eagle reported: “WASHINGTON — Although official information is being withheld, some of President Harding’s closest advisers expect that in the near future he will nominate former President Taft for Chief Justice of the United States. It is believed in some quarters that the official announcement of Mr. Taft’s selection may be made today. However, many considerations go into the selection, and the belief prevailed among other high-ranking officials of the Administration that no nomination would be made before the July 4th recess of Congress. All recent indications indicate that the former President is likely to be Mr. Harding’s nominee, but as of early this morning the President had not signed a nomination.”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1940The Eagle reported: “Brooklyn enjoyed one civic triumph and another yesterday when Mayor LaGuardia announced at the opening ceremony of the new Belt Parkway that the Federal loan for the construction of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel had been approved. The Mayor’s announcement of the tunnel came as a pleasant surprise to the crowd assembled in Owl’s Head Park to witness the opening of the superhighway which passes through Brooklyn and Queens and connects with peripheral streets of the Bronx, Westchester and Manhattan and the crossings into New Jersey. The parkway is 35 miles long and was built in 18 months at a cost of $35,000,000. A short section in Sheepshead Bay will soon be completed by the Triborough Bridge Authority. The Mayor reserved his surprise announcement until the end of his address, saying he considered it a most fitting climax to the parkway’s opening ceremony. Final approval of the tunnel loan came to the mayor yesterday in a telegram from Jesse H. Jones, head of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The way is now clear, the mayor said, for tunnel work to begin, as the Board of Estimate has received authorization to purchase the land needed for the shaft and the corporation attorney has been instructed to acquire the title as soon as possible. Therefore, he declared, the city and federal government will ‘complete the park road and soon begin tunnel construction.'”

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ON THIS DAY IN 1948The Eagle reported: “Tomorrow is D-Day — D for Dime — when the new 10-cent subway fare goes into effect, and Mayor O’Dwyer returned today from a vacation in Puerto Rico to oversee the changeover from the traditional and once-sacred 5-cent fare. He arrived at LaGuardia Field at 6:22 a.m. and later in the city conferred with Board of Transportation officials and with Police Commissioner Wallender, announcing that both city departments had done ‘an excellent job of planning’ for transit D-Day.”

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David Alan Grier
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Ron Swoboda
Frank Franklin II/AP

Notable people born on this day Including the star of “Too Close for Comfort” Nancy Dussaultborn 1936; hero of the NY Mets World Series Ron Swobodaborn 1944; star of “Married with Children” David Garrisonborn 1952; “In Living Color” star David Alan Grierborn 1956; star of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” Vincent D’Onofrioborn 1959 in Brooklyn; guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteenborn 1963; member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame Mike Tysonborn in 1966 in Brooklyn; “And Then Came a Spider” star Monica Potterborn 1971; “Castle Rock” star Lizzy Caplanborn 1982; “American Idol” winner Fantasy Barrinoborn 1984, Olympic gold medalist in swimming Michael Phelpsborn in 1985.

Lizzy Caplan
Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP

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MAIN ACTRESS: On this day in 1917, Lena Horne was born. A native of Bedford-Stuyvesant, she began singing in the chorus group at the Cotton Club in Harlem at age 16. A career on Broadway and in Hollywood quickly followed, and she soon became a symbol for African-American actors and singers seeking to break racial segregation. She enjoyed success with both black and white audiences, although she also faced racial prejudice. She died in 2010. A postage stamp bearing her portrait was issued in 2018.

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HERE AND NOW: The National Organization for Women was founded on this day in 1966 in Washington, DC, by participants in the third national conference of the Commission on the Status of Women. The goal of NOW is to take measures to integrate women into American society and to enable them to enjoy all privileges and responsibilities in equal partnership with men.

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

Quote:

“It’s so nice to receive flowers while you can still smell the fragrance.”

— Singer Lena Horne, who was born on this day in 1917 in Brooklyn