Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Happy birthday, Billy Sunday

It is the birthday of baseball-star-turned-evangelist Billy Sunday (1862), who parlayed his celebrity as a major league base-stealer into a two-decade career as a fiery conservative preacher who could draw thousands to his revivals in the days before electronic sound systems. In his day, he was the most popular preacher in America, and friends with rich and famous people. He is credited with helping to set the national mood for passage of the Eighteenth Amendment and Prohibition in 1919. Even after Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Sunday continued to preach conservative philosophy, as he does in this video of a 1929 speech.

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