ON THIS DAY IN 1913, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “ALBANY, SEPT. 20 — Governor [William] Sulzer tonight broke his long silence, which he has maintained since his impeachment trial began, and declared he had no intention of resigning and would fight the battle to the end. ‘Resign!’ he ejaculated. ‘I have no more idea of doing that than I have of committing hari-kari.’ And then the governor thumped his interviewer on the chest and gave other evidences of the fact that he is in a fighting mood. Also the governor is not in such ill health as has been reported. The fact that he has not seen anyone within the last two days led to the report that he was in a weakened condition. He is sleeping late mornings, but he is also working late at night. The lights in the mansion frequently are burning until long after midnight. A caller at the mansion at 11 o’clock this morning was informed that the governor was still in bed. The governor’s formal statement that he would not resign was not issued until after he had argued at great length with his counsel. Throughout the case they have been opposed to his saying anything for publication. But he has overruled them a few times, though not since the trial began, until tonight. ‘The governor is an orator,’ one of his counsel said, ‘and we had to give in to him.’”
ON THIS DAY IN 1938, the Eagle reported, “PRAGUE (U.P.) — The Czech government bowed under the ‘irresistible pressure’ of Britain and France today and formally surrendered to Adolf Hitler’s demand for partition of the republic. Unless the army should revolt and decide to fight Germany by declaring that approval of the cabinet’s decision by the interparty parliamentary commission is unconstitutional, the post-war Czechoslovak Republic as constituted at Versailles ceased in effect to exist at 6:55 p.m. today. At that hour the note of acceptance was handed to the British and French legations here. The official communique said: ‘The Czech Government has been forced under irresistible pressure from both the British and French Governments to accept with pain the proposals elaborated in London.’ The British-French plan provides for surrender of the most valuable positions of the Sudeten-German area to Hitler. It does not include surrender of other areas to Poland and Hungary, but those countries, with the approval of Hitler and Premier Mussolini of Italy, have notified the Powers that it must be done if Germany’s claims are granted. The news of surrender sent a wave of patriotic indignation through the capital. Extra detachments of police were placed at all strategic points in the city. Shortly before 5 p.m., crowds began gathering in the streets, shouting: ‘Long live the republic! Long live Czechoslovakia!’”
ON THIS DAY IN 1946, the Eagle reported, “Manhattan’s Riverside Drive residents awoke today to find their area lousy with Brooklyn’s aphids. The species of plant lice hopped across the river after a thorough exploration of Brooklyn, particularly in the vicinity of Ebbets Field. They are by no means as abundant as the hordes which pestered Flatbushites for the past several days — Brooklyn always does things on a bigger scale — but they are numerous enough to bedevil the women and children sunning on the walk rimming Riverside Park. Few people care about the American Museum of Natural History’s explanation that the lice, harmless to humans, suck plant juices and ruin leaves. All they are concerned with is that they swoop on them by the hundreds of thousands — instead of the millions, as they did in Brooklyn. Said Mrs. Bernice Jones of 310 W. 106th St., Manhattan, who met them at Ebbets Field and knows whereof she speaks: ‘These things are as stupid as the ones they had at the ball game. They bang your ears, and if you don’t keep your mouth shut you’re liable to swallow a couple of gross.’ The aphids will go away as soon as cooler weather sets in.”
NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include 1988 NBA Coach of the Year Doug Moe, who was born in Brooklyn in 1938; film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who was born in 1943; actress and author Fannie Flagg, who was born in 1944; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Don Felder (The Eagles), who was born in 1947; “Doctor Sleep” author Stephen King, who was born in 1947; Basketball Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore, who was born in 1949; “Ghostbusters” star Bill Murray, who was born in 1950; “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman, who was born in 1956; filmmaker Ethan Coen, who was born in 1957; “Full House” star Dave Coulier, who was born in 1959; “Last Man Standing” star Nancy Travis, who was born in 1961; former N.Y. Yankees first baseman Cecil Fielder, who was born in 1963; “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Cheryl Hines, who was born in 1965; TV personality Nicole Richie, who was born in 1981; and “Lost” star Maggie Grace, who was born in 1983.
THE JOURNEY BEGINS: “The Hobbit” was published on this day in 1937. University professor J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy classic featuring Bilbo Baggins was published by George Allen & Unwin in the U.K. Well received by critics and the public, it has never been out of print. Its international success spurred Tolkien to amplify his world of hobbits, dwarves, elves and dragons in “The Lord of the Rings” in the 1950s.
KICKOFF TIME: “Monday Night Football” premiered on this day in 1970. Following the complete merger of the American Football League and the National Football League, ABC joined CBS and NBC in televising weekly games. The show began as an experiment but soon became an institution. Announcers Howard Cosell, Keith Jackson and Don Meredith called the first game, a 31-21 victory by the Cleveland Browns over the New York Jets.
Special thanks to “Chase’s Calendar of Events” and Brooklyn Public Library.
“I always want to say to people who want to be rich and famous: ‘Try being rich first. See if that doesn’t cover most of it.”’
— actor Bill Murray, who was born on this day in 1950
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