Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gettysburg Address - #2413 - Happy Birthday, Gettysburg Address - Hot Air

Few people are aware that quite possibly the greatest speech in American political history was an afterthought. The biggest attraction for the dedication of the newest federal cemetery in Pennsylvania on Nov. 19, 1863, was Edward Everett, a famous orator of the day. Shortly before the dedication someone thought to invite Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the barely United States, then convulsed in fratricide. He arrived a day early. Contrary to popular myth, Lincoln did not jot down his remarks on an envelope. He had written a draft on Executive Mansion stationery in Washington, perhaps in the Lincoln Bedroom, where the original now resides. Lincoln fiddled with the last two paragraphs the night before in pencil. His final text is below. The occasion was a solemn one that somnolent gray day. Just four months previously 82,269 Union troops under Gen. George Meade had confronted 75,000 Confederates under Gen. Robert E. Lee in a smokey, sordid three-day struggle that would claim 51,112 casualties — killed, wounded and missing. Read more, including text of the Gettysburg address.........

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