Gettysburg Address Text
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
One-hundred-and fifty years is a long time to remember a speech, a speech in which the speaker stated that his words, uttered at the consecration of the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg, Pa, would neither be noted nor remembered.
It is rare that 273 words can have a profound impact. In just over two minutes on Nov. 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln reiterated the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed the Civil War as a struggle for the preservation of the Union with a new birth of freedom.
John Hay woke with a severe hangover on the morning of Nov. 19, 1863. As one of Abraham Lincoln’s closest White House aides, Hay had spent the previous evening drinking copiously with the disparate crew of journalists and politicians who converged on the small town of Gettysburg, Penn., for the dedication of a new national cemetery later that day. A bystander remembered seeing the presidential party arrive after a long train ride from Washington, “a straggled, hungry set. Lincoln, with that weary smile … Seward, with an essentially bad hat; John Hay, in attendance upon the president, and much to be troubled by the correspondents, handsome as a peach, the countenance of extreme youth.”
This week marks the 150th Anniversary since Abraham Lincoln uttered those immortal words on November 19, 1863 at the dedication of the cemetery holding the remains of 40,000 soldiers who died at Gettysburg. While our country has made giant strides since Lincoln's address, we as a nation have yet to realize fully the goals of equality and liberty that Lincoln set forth.
On Tuesday, the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, President Barack Obama penned a letter commemorating the historic speech. In the letter, which was published on the White House website, Obama wrote that "the accumulated toil and sacrifice of ordinary men and women" serve as the foundation of our nation, and the basis of the preservation of freedom.
The site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War was host to a solemn tribute to history Tuesday as thousands gathered in Gettysburg, Pa., to mark the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
The legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Abraham Lincoln issued on Jan. 1, 1863, and the Gettysburg Address wasn’t lost on the participants in the new compilation “Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War,” created to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Jon Favreau spent four years in the White House writing speeches for President Obama. On the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, I talked to him about whether such a speech could be given today, what President Obama can learn from Lincoln's famous address and what his biggest pet peeve is in speechwriting. Check our conversation out below.
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