Brooklyn Daily Eagle cover (November 11, 1917)
|Owner(s)||Frank D. Schroth|
|Editor-in-chief||Thomas N. Schroth|
|Founded||October 26, 1841, as The Brooklyn Eagle and Kings County Democrat|
|Ceased publication||January 29, 1955 returning briefly 1960 to June 25, 1963.|
(Archived issues maintained by the Brooklyn Public Library)
- This article covers both the historical newspaper (1841-1955, 1960-1963), as well as an unrelated new Brooklyn Daily Eagle starting 1996 published currently
The Brooklyn Eagle, originally joint name The Brooklyn Eagle and Kings County Democrat, later The Brooklyn Daily Eagle before shortening title further to The Brooklyn Eagle was a daily newspaper published in the city and later borough of Brooklyn, in New York City, for 114 years from 1841 to 1955. At one point, it was the afternoon paper with the largest daily circulation in the United States. Walt Whitman, the 19th-century poet, was its editor for two years. Other notable editors of the Eagle included Thomas Kinsella, St. Clair McKelway, Cleveland Rogers, Frank D. Schroth, and Charles Montgomery Skinner.
The paper, added "Daily" to its name as The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Kings County Democrat on June 1, 1846. The banner name was shortened on May 14, 1849 to The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, but the lower masthead retained the political name  until June 8. On September 5, 1938, the name was further shortened, to Brooklyn Eagle, with The Brooklyn Daily Eagle continuing to appear below the masthead of the editorial page, through the end of its original run in 1955. The paper ceased publication in 1955 due to a prolonged strike. It was briefly revived from the bankrupt estate between 1960 and 1963.
A new version of the Brooklyn Eagle as a revival of the old newspaper's traditions began publishing in 1996. It has no business relation to the original Eagle (the name having lost trademark protection). The new paper publishes a daily historical/nostalgia feature called "On This Day in History", made up of much material from the pages of the old original Eagle.
The Brooklyn Public Library maintained an online archive of the original Brooklyn Daily Eagle issues encompassing the years 1841 through 1955, a virtual encyclopedic survey of the history of the city and the later borough of Brooklyn for more than a century. The archive was purchased by Ancestry.com for their newspapers.com website. A provision of their contract with BPL requires the material to be provided to site visitors without a subscription, unlike most newspapers.com content.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle was first published on October 26, 1841. Its address at this time, and for many years afterwards, was at 28 Old Fulton Street, Brooklyn (today the site of a landmark building known as the "Eagle Warehouse"). A few days after it started, the paper suspended publication for a month due to a printing press fire. From 1846 to 1848, the newspaper's editor was the poet Walt Whitman.
The paper started as a combination of objective news and Democratic party organ. During the American Civil War, the Eagle supported the Democratic Party; as such, its mailing privileges through the United States Post Office Department were once revoked due to a forged letter supposedly sent by the 16th President Abraham Lincoln. The Eagle played an important role in shaping Brooklyn's civic identity. The once-independent city became the third-largest city in America at that time, across the water from old New York City. In the 1898, it became a borough as part of the annexation and merger campaign that formed the City of Greater New York. The Eagle had editorially tried to forestall and stop this process, claiming that Brooklyn would go from being a great city on its own to a hinterland of the bigger city.
In August 1938, Frank D. Schroth bought the newspaper from M. Preston Goodfellow. In addition to dropping the word "Daily" from the paper's front page, Schroth increased the paper's profile and readership with more active local coverage focused on the borough as opposed to the other competing dailies at that time in Manhattan, such as The New York Times, New York Herald-Tribune, New York Journal-American, New York Daily News, New York Post, New York World-Telegram & Sun, New York Daily Mirror, and, later, Newsday, further out in the Long Island suburbs.
The newspaper received the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its "crime reporting during the year." Investigative journalist Ed Reid in an eight-part series exposed the activities of bookmaker Harry Gross and corrupt members of the New York City Police Department. This exposé led to an investigation by the Brooklyn District Attorney, and resulted in the eventual resignation of Mayor of New York City William O'Dwyer.
Hollow Nickel Case
On June 22, 1953, a newspaper boy, collecting for the Brooklyn Eagle, at an apartment building at 3403 Foster Avenue in Brooklyn, was paid with a nickel that felt funny to him. When he dropped it on the ground, it popped open and contained microfilm inside. The microfilm contained a series of numbers. He told the New York City Police Department, which in two days told a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent about the strange nickel. The FBI was not able to link the nickel to KGB agents until a KGB (Committee on State Security of the Soviet Union) agent, Reino Häyhänen, wanted to defect to the West and America in May 1957, including Vilyam Genrikhovich Fisher (aka Rudolph Ivanovich Abel) in the Hollow Nickel Case.
In the face of the continued economic pressure brought on by a strike by the local reporters' trade union, the Newspaper Guild, and later attempting to sell the Eagle, the paper published its last edition on January 28, 1955, and shut down for good on March 16, 1955. Thomas N. Schroth, the publisher's son, served as the newspaper's managing editor in the last three years of its existence, before moving on to become editor of the Congressional Quarterly and founder of The National Journal in Washington, DC, which covered the activities and actions of the United States Congress in the Quarterly, and national capital political events in the Journal which endure into the 21st Century.
This occurred around the same time as the National League baseball team, the Brooklyn Dodgers (formerly the "Trolley Dodgers"), who played at Flatbush's Ebbets Field, shocked the city and joined the rival New York Giants at the old Polo Grounds in Manhattan in moving to the West Coast and becoming the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. The loss of both primary national icons of the town's identity within two and a half years sent Brooklyn into a psychological slump, which even the replacement New York Mets in 1962 could not quite resurrect.
1960s revival attempts
In 1960, former comic book publisher Robert W. Farrell acquired the Eagle's assets in bankruptcy court, five years later after its closing, publishing five Sunday editions of the paper in 1960. In 1962–1963, under the corporate name Newspaper Consolidated Corporation, Farrell and his partner Philip Enciso briefly revived the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper as a daily. During the 1962–63 New York City newspaper strike, the paper had circulation grow from 50,000 to 390,000 until the strike ended.
The final edition appeared on June 25, 1963.
Logo of the new Brooklyn Daily Eagle
|Owner(s)||Everything Brooklyn Media|
|Publisher||J. Dozier Hasty|
|Headquarters||Brooklyn, New York City, New York|
The Brooklyn Daily Bulletin, a much smaller newspaper also focusing on the Brooklyn borough began publishing when the original Brooklyn Eagle folded in 1955.
In 1996, it The Bulletin merged with a newly revived Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and now publishes a morning paper five days a week under the Brooklyn Daily Eagle name. There is also a weekend edition published Saturdays as Brooklyn Eagle: Weekend Edition. This revived Brooklyn Eagle has no business relationship with the original Eagle; but it adopted the Eagle name adding it to its Bulletin title after the Eagle name fell into the public domain, and following a dispute with another Brooklyn publisher over ownership of the Eagle name. The new publication is published by J. Dozier Hasty. The Daily Eagle editorial staff includes 25 full-time reporters, writers, and photographers.
As an homage to the original Eagle, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle publishes a daily feature called "On This Day in History", made up of much material taken from the original Brooklyn Eagle.
Several exhibits have been held regarding the role of the paper in creating the identity of Brooklyn and its citizens at the Brooklyn Historical Society, including extensive mention and documentation in several histories published.
Everything Brooklyn Media
The new publication is published under the auspices of Everything Brooklyn Media (now stylized as ebrooklynmedia). The Daily Eagle editorial coverage has grown to include other areas with local publications under the ebrooklynmedia banner. These include:
- The Bay Ridge Eagle a weekly section in Western Brooklyn, particularly Bay Ridge area.
- Brooklyn Reporter in South Brooklyn
- Queens Daily Eagle in Queens
- Brooklyn Heights Press and Cobble Hill News in Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill, Brooklyn areas
- Brooklyn Barrister, a legal practice publication
- "The Brooklyn Eagle and Kings County Democrat". bklyn.newspapers.com. Newspapers.com. October 26, 1841. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "Front page banner". Brooklyn Eagle. May 30, 1856. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- "The Brooklyn Eagle and Kings County Democrat". bklyn.newspapers.com. Newspapers.com. June 1, 1846. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "Brooklyn Eagle - Ourselves and the 'Eagle' (note from editor)". Brooklyn Eagle. June 1, 1846. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- "The Brooklyn Eagle and Kings County Democrat". bklyn.newspapers.com. Newspapers.com. May 14, 1849. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "Front page banner". Brooklyn Eagle. May 17, 1849. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- "The Brooklyn Eagle and Kings County Democrat". bklyn.newspapers.com. Newspapers.com. September 5, 1938. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- Boland, Jr., Ed (February 9, 2003). "F.Y.I." Archives. The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "History of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle". www.bklynlibrary.org.
- "Frank D. Schrnoth [sic], 89, Publisher Of The Brooklyn Eagle, Is Dead; Acclaimed for His Service". The New York Times. June 11, 1974. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "8 May 1951, Page 1 - The Brooklyn Daily Eagle at Newspapers.com".
- Crime at Mid-Century by Nicholas Pileggi New York Magazine December 30, 1974 
- The Epic of New York City: A Narrative History By Edward Ellis 1966
- "Negotiations Ended in Sale of Eagle". The New York Times. June 11, 1955. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- Weber, Bruce. "Thomas N. Schroth, Influential Washington Editor, Is Dead at 88". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "Brooklyn Eagle Scheduled To Be Revived on Monday". The New York Times. October 13, 1962.
- "Newspaper Strike Changed Many Habits but Left No Lasting Marks on Economy – Walkout Began Year Ago Today – Publishers and Unions Have Made Little Progress on Bargaining Methods". The New York Times. December 8, 1963. p. 85. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "About Brooklyn Eagle. (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 1938-1963". Chronicling America. U. S. Library of Congress. Archived from the original on May 8, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- Hamm, Lisa M. (October 16, 1996). "Feathers Fly Over Right to Publish "Brooklyn Eagle"". South Coast Today. New Bedford, Massachusetts: Local Media Group Inc. Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "New York Daily Challenge". Mondo Times. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "About Us & Advertise". The Brooklyn Home Reporter. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- "Queens Daily Eagle | Facebook". Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- Schroth, Raymond A. The Eagle and Brooklyn: a community newspaper, 1841-1955 (Praeger, 1974).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brooklyn Eagle.|
- Official website
- "Brooklyn Eagle (1841–1955)". Online Archive. Newspapers.com.
- "Brooklyn Eagle Forum Transcript" (PDF). Brooklyn: CUNY. March 15, 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 5, 2011.
50 Years after the Eagle: How City Papers Cover Brooklyn
- "Old Fulton New York Post Cards". Online archive (1841–1955). Archived from the original on September 17, 2004.
- The James Olinkiewicz Collection of Brooklyn Daily Eagle Postcards at the New-York Historical Society.