The Gettysburg Address

Seven score and seven years ago, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Abraham Lincoln spoke these words.

One of the most memorable speeches in American history:  The Gettysburg Address.   Some 3,577 Union soldiers—half of them unknown—from 18 states are buried in Gettysburg’s Soldiers’ National Cemetery.  In just a few minutes and 272 words, Lincoln described his vision for “a new birth of freedom” for America. It was what many consider the best summation in the nation’s history of the meaning and price of freedom.


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13 responses to “The Gettysburg Address

  1. FOURSCORE 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 the nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot 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.

  2. wiki says:

    Despite the speech’s prominent place in the history and popular culture of the United States, the exact wording of the speech is disputed. The five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address differ in a number of details and also differ from contemporary newspaper reprints of the speech.

  3. wicked

    Gettysburg’s Soldiers’ National Cemetery

    Probably the most haunted place in the U.S.

  4. wicked

    Lincoln was left-handed. My left-handed daughter pointed that out to me today.

  5. Hmmmm. I can’t find where Lincoln was left handed, although I found lots of information about teachers and parents forcing ‘right handedness.’

    wiki: During the 18th and 19th centuries left-handedness was considered a disability and teachers would make efforts to suppress it in their students. For this reason there are few concrete references to determine the handedness of presidents prior to the early 20th century. The first president to be described as left-handed was Herbert Hoover.

    [20] James Garfield
    [31] Herbert Hoover
    [38] Gerald Ford
    [40] Ronald Reagan
    [41] George Bush
    [42] Bill Clinton
    [44] Barack Obama

    Just over one in ten of the US population are left-handed and, traditionally, they have been regarded with suspicion by right-handers. Witches were said to greet the Devil and perform black magic with the left hand. The Latin word for left is “sinister”; in French it is “gauche” which also means improper; while in English, of course, “right” also means “correct.”

    A higher percentage of mathematicians, scientists and artists are left-handed, perhaps because they are more likely to use both hemispheres of their brains to visualize problems. Bilateral brain function could also help them to develop the social skills needed to be successful in politics.

    • Someplace (I was too many places to retrace my steps) I read that Harry Truman was ambidextrous, and that Reagan was one of those they tried to change and as a result he wrote with his right hand although it is commonly held that he was naturally a left handed person.

    • wicked

      I saw the same list when I looked earlier. Daughter said it was on a t-shirt to buy and could add own name to the list.

      I do some things with my left hand, such as deal cards. My mother said her dad was ambidextrous because, as a car mechanic, he’d broken his right arm so many times, he had to learn how to do everything with his left. 🙂

    • wicked

      I tie my shoes left-handed, too. All of my kids may, as well, since I taught them, but I’ve never checked.

      It’s too bad kids were forced. It used to be said that doing that was one of the causes of stuttering. Considering the right/left brain stuff we’ve learned since then, that’s as good a reason as any, I guess.

    • tosmarttobegop

      Up to sixth grade, every year in the beginning my left hand knocks would be beaten till almost bleeding because I could not write right handed.

      It would take about two months before finally the teacher would give up and let me write left handed. BTW I hated school and considered it more punishment then education.

    • There were both uncles and aunts of my parents that were ambidextrous and could write different things with both hands at the same time on the chalkboard, they were teachers.

  6. tosmarttobegop

    What words will be said of the next time? What stories told of its beginning and the why of it all in two hundred years after the fact?

    Who shall be saying those words and what is it that person will be said to have been defending or bring right over what wrong? What factors will there be that brings it to a conflict of brother against brother again?

    Politics and partisanship?

    Abortion and pro choice?

    Where is the next catalyst that shall divide these people into the warring camps that draw their swords and face each other?

    Perhaps the saddest thing in any such conflict is that at any point before the swords are drawn it could have been stopped. It could have been reasoned out but the minds get set to the fight long before there is the first clash. The words said written before they were finally needed said.

  7. itolduso

    According to an NPR interview, of which I heard only a little of the beginning, At the time, according to some reporters, and apparently, some pictures, the speech was not memoriable at all at the time. Some dude, and I don;t remember whom, had spoke for two hours just previous. Lincoln got up, did his thing, and sat down, and many people had not even been aware he had started, the speech being so short.