Brooklyn Today for February 20

Good morning. Today is the 51st day of the year. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Feb. 20, 1863, reported on a speech by African-American leader Frederick Douglass at the African Methodist Episcopal Church on Bridge Street called “The Black Man and the War.” Douglass said that in the 1850s, the South had rejected every compromise on slavery and had always sought to establish new slave states in the West. He added that the many in the North were wrong when they thought the Civil War could be won without dealing with the slavery question. He hailed the Emancipation Proclamation as “the great event of the Nineteenth Century,” and praised President Lincoln’s leadership.

Well-known people who were born today include Hall of Fame basketball player Charles Barkley, Hall of Fame hockey player and coach Phil Esposito, basketball player Stephon Marbury, actor Sidney Poitier (“In the Heat of the Night,” “Lilies of the Field”), auto racer Bobby Unser, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, singer Buffy Sainte-Marie, fashion designer Glorica Vanderbilt and singer Nancy Wilson.