155th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg National Cemetery was dedicated by President Abraham Lincoln a brief four months after the Battle. Lincoln’s speech lasted only two minutes, but it went into history as the immortal Gettysburg Address.


“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 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. ”


Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

15 Comments on 155th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

  1. I wish the Confederates would have just left the Yankees cooling their behinds in Sumter instead of giving him his pretext for war.

  2. And when a portion of it was a clue-answer in a semi-finals teen tournament match in Jeopardy last week, not one of the three teens knew Abe Lincoln said it. Two got it wrong, and the other didn’t buzz in. Sad!

  3. Several years ago I had the pleasure of taking 30 German teens to the site in Gettysburg were this was given. The teens were amazed at the deeper picture and how few words Lincoln chose to convey such a strong message.

    In some ways Lincoln was as plain spoken as PDJT.

    Lincoln’s life and presidency is overshadowed by what he didn’t get to accomplish – keeping the carpet baggers off of the south as he intended. I think his goal would have been to pick up the union where it broke and run with it. I now that Lincoln is controversial to some on this site bute almost every president has been to somebody.

  4. Just my personal opnion….i think every American needs to go to go see and walk this hallowed ground.

    The Park Service does an excellent job with their guided tours. The Devil’s Den, The Slaughter Pen, The Wheat Field, The Peach Orchard, Culps Hill, Cemetary Hill, Cemetary Ridge, Seminary Ridge, Little Round Top, Picketts Charge, The Copse of Trees…all very humbling.

    The book named “The Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara is an excellent and well known novel about the battle.

    Abe understood what had happened….hence his profound words.

  5. And to think, in high schools they use to have to recite The Gettysburg Address, now they teach all about slavery and Jim Crow and the civil rights movement, but little about the price paid to free the slaves the changes in the Constitution to make them citizens and the many individuals who walked with the protestors and voted to elect republicans who passed the civil rights act.

  6. An O.K. speech…. no one ever reports how he ended his chat though…

    “HEY EVERYBODY! WE’RE ALL GONNA’ GET LAID” Followed by a jaunty Kenny Loggins tune.

  7. Ha! I practiced endlessly as an eighth grader to recite every word of the Gettysburg Address and the teacher spent two or three days having students stand in front of the class and reciting it.
    No one recited it perfectly and I waited patiently for my name to be called because I was more than confident that I knew each and every single word.
    I was never called on and I was too shy to put myself out there….I have no idea what grade I may have been given or if I ever received a grade at all.
    Doesn’t matter….I survived the public school system where I often felt inferior, today….not so much.

  8. The two-hour-long address delivered by the great orator Edward Everett was originally intended to be the Gettysburg Address. Yet Everett told Lincoln, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”

  9. The battlefield was THE first act of preservation of just about ANYTHING post the Civil War in the country. Lincolns presence there made it for the ages.

    Gettysburg immediately became hallowed ground, as Antietem and others, and in the case of Gettysburg the biggest sculptural area in the WORLD.

    There are monuments everywhere one of the most humbling places…

    Interestingly we, as a ship, have been talking about going there in the spring. Troops have not seen yet…

  10. Gettysburg is still one of those places you can pull back the veneer of tourism back and still get the real sense of hallowed ground. I’ve been going since the 100th anniversary (and Ginsbery was there as well!).

    Gettysburg takes at least 2 days to start orientation to places/things (the Tour guides are worth every penny)

    Antietam is smaller (one day) and only 40 miles away or so.


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