Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Good morning. Today is the 80th day of the year. On this day in 1864, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle ran a report of a sermon given by the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, the pastor of Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights. Beecher, a fierce foe of slavery and the Confederacy, complained about the lack of fighting spirit among the Union soldiers and said that “the Rebels fight better for a bad cause than we do for a good one.”
The reverend also doubted whether President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was really adequate to abolish slavery. To give the proclamation the force of law, Lincoln pushed for passage of the 13th Amendment overthrowing slavery, which was finally ratified after Lincoln’s death.
Well-known people who were born today include actor Matthew Broderick (“Godzilla,” “The Producers,” “Inspector Gadget”), actor Timothy Dalton (James Bond movies, “Cleopatra”), actor Al Freeman Jr. (“A Patch of Blue,” “Roots”). actress Rosie O’Donnell (“The Rosie O’Donnell Show”) and actor Gary Oldman (Harry Potter films, “Sid and Nancy,” “JFK”).