Brooklyn Today for Jan. 8, 2012

Good morning. Today is the eighth day of the year. On this day in 1900, the famous Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights celebrated its 50th anniversary. Several older members of the church talked about their memories of the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, the fiery foe of slavery, and Beecher’s first sermon from 1850 was read aloud. People also talked about the famous people who had addressed parishioners over the years, including anti-slavery leader Frederick Douglass and Hungarian patriot Louis Kossuth.

Well-known people who were born today include singer Shirley Bassey, singer David Bowie (“Fame,” “Golden Years,” “The Young Americans”), pianist Vladimir Feltsman, physicist-author Stephen Hawking (”A Brief History of Time”) and journalist Charles Osgood.