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Gettysburg Address Turns 147

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

147 years ago today President Abraham Lincoln stood on a battlefield in Pennsylvania and delivered one of the most enduring speeches every given by a president. Five drafts of the speech are known to exist. Lincoln used fewer than 300 words that are familiar to everyone who studies history in high school, and are engraved on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.:


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 that 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.


For more information about the Gettysburg Address, visit the Library of Congress website.


Peter Norvig, director of research at Google, Inc., has a humorous take on what the Gettysburg Address would look like if it were written today, using Powerpoint to deliver the speech.

Posted by Michael Leclerc at 11/19/2010 01:46:20 PM | 

Remove the second http// in your link to the Norvig Gettysburg Address of today to fix the link. Pretty funny...
Posted by: Elizabeth ( Email ) at 11/21/2010 10:07 PM

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