Brooklyn Today for Feb. 20

February 19, 2013 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Good morning. Today is the 51st day of the year. On this day in 1863, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on a speech by African-American leader Frederick Douglass at the Bridge Street African Methodist Episcopal Church on “The Black Man and the War.” The audience, according to the Eagle, consisted of about two-thirds African-Americans and one-third white abolitionists.

Douglass stressed that the Union could not be re-established on the basis of compromise, since the South had rejected all compromise, and that slavery must be abolished. He praised President Lincoln for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and for including black regiments in the Union Army. The church’s original building, in Downtown Brooklyn, still stands on the edge of MetroTech.

Well-known people who were born today include Hall of Fame basketball player and sportscaster Charles Barkley, hockey executive and former Hall of Fame hockey player Phil Esposito, actor Sidney Poitier (“In the Heat of the Night,” “Lillies of the Field”), folksinger Buffy Sainte-Marie, singer Rihanna, Brooklyn-born basketball player Stephon Marbury and U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell.

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