In this age of sound bytes, careers are made or destroyed with a sentence or two. A brilliant orator, however, can succinctly and briefly make a profound declaration that touches people’s hearts. Abraham Lincoln did just that on this day in history November 19,1863, when he delivered what has been preserved as The Gettysburg Address.
A weary crowd had listened for two hours as a famous speaker of the time Edward Everett spoke of the dedication of 17 acres of land for a cemetery for those fallen soldiers of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg marked the death, injury, capture or disappearance of 45,000 men. Almost as an afterthought, the organizers, just two weeks before the dedication, had inquired if President Lincoln might make “a few appropriate remarks.”
What followed was the delivery of 272 words with the ironic statement that the world probably wouldn’t remember what he said. It remains one of the most beloved statements in the history of America.
Below is the only one known photo of Abraham Lincoln delivering The Gettysburg Address.
(National Archives and Register Administration)
Truly Abraham Lincoln’s legacy has endured as a statesman and our beloved 16th President of the United States of America.
How many words of the Gettysburg address can you recite? Four score and seven years ago…our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation…conceived in liberty…