President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
Hailed as one of the great American speeches. The version above is one of the five existing versions that President Lincoln wrote out by hand.
Four months after the Battle of Gettysburg (which was fought July 1-3, 1863), a ceremony was held in Gettysburg to dedicate a national cemetery for the soldiers who had died during the Confederate’s attempt to defeat and destroy the Union Army. On the afternoon of November 19, 1863, the main speaker, who was Massachusetts’ famed orator Edward Everett, went on for two hours. Finally, President Lincoln rose and pulled out a couple of small sheets of paper and spoke to the throng of fifteen thousand for two minutes. (A photographer was preparing to take a photograph, but wasn’t able to get everything ready in that short of time.).