Here's a short but sweet video of Sarah Bernhardt — the Meryl Streep of her day (and it was a long day) — addressing a crowd of 50,000 people in Brooklyn's Prospect Park on July 4, 1917. She was advocating for French and American cooperation during The Great War, now known as World War I (we didn't have to number them back then).
The revered French actress of stage and screen was in demand all over Europe and America after her career took off in the 1860s. She acted continuously until her death in 1923, and this was even after one of her legs was amputated in 1915 due to a knee injury.
She performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, back when it was on Montague Street. On one of her trips to New York City, she had these kind words about the Brooklyn Bridge:
"Oh that bridge! It is insane, admirable, imposing, and it makes one feel proud. Yes, one is proud to be a human being when one realizes that a human brain has created and suspended in the air, fifty yards from the ground, that fearful thing...I returned to the hotel reconciled with this great nation. I went to sleep tired in body but rested in mind, and had such delightful dreams that I was in good humor the following day."
The video is from Library of Congress