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Your Guide To the ‘Gettysburg Address’

The Gettysburg Address has been called one of America’s greatest speeches, but why? Here’s everything you need to know about Lincoln’s famous address.

What is the Gettysburg Address?

President Abraham Lincoln delivered a short speech to a crowd of more than 15,000, focusing on America’s principles of human equality. The Gettysburg Address is considered a key moment in American history, due to its shaping of the way Americans viewed themselves and their government.

Where and when was it given?

During the Civil War, on Nov. 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This was just four and a half months after the vicious Battle of Gettysburg that took place at the same location.

Brief and to the point

Lincoln’s speech was just 271 words and only two minutes long. A sigh of relief when compared to the other speaker of the day, dignitary Edward Everett, who gave a two-hour, 13,000 word speech just before Lincoln.

The transcript:

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 battle-field 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 can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not 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.

Four Score?

You’ve probably heard of the now famous opening phrase, “Four score and seven years ago,” but maybe you don’t know what it means? A score means 20, so four score is 80. So the phrase, “Four score and seven years ago,” means 87 years ago an refers to the founding of America.

The only known photo of President Abraham Lincoln delivering the speech.

 

A close up of the president from the same photo.

 

An image from the crowds attending the address.

 

An original draft of the Gettysburg Address, with Lincoln’s handwritten notes.

 

The New York Times newspaper’s recap of the speech from the following day.

6 Comments on Your Guide To the ‘Gettysburg Address’

  1. awesome speech and pictures.Love Abe Lincoln.best president ever!

  2. awesome speech.love abe lincoln.John wilkes booth stinks!

  3. Vanessa p. // May 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm // Reply

    Awesome!!! LOVED the speech it was absolutely perfff.

  4. Avenger Nerd // November 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm // Reply

    I went to D.C and saw Ford theater and the manorial. Pretty cool!

  5. Wise Guy is back // November 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm // Reply

    THE REPEAT MACHIENE

    4 Responses to “Your Guide To the ‘Gettysburg Address’”

    Reply

    Anonymous

    April 22, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    awesome speech and pictures.Love Abe Lincoln.best president ever!

    Reply

    navy dude

    April 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    awesome speech.love abe lincoln.John wilkes booth stinks!

    Reply

    Vanessa p.

    May 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Awesome!!! LOVED the speech it was absolutely perfff.

    Reply

    Avenger Nerd

    November 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    I went to D.C and saw Ford theater and the manorial. Pretty cool!

    (ERASE EMOTICONS) (CLEAR) (ON/OFF)

  6. THE REAL REPEAT MACHIENE // December 3, 2013 at 11:53 am // Reply

    REPEAT: ON
    —————————————————————————————————————————-
    5 Responses to “Your Guide To the ‘Gettysburg Address’”

    Reply

    Anonymous

    April 22, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    awesome speech and pictures.Love Abe Lincoln.best president ever!

    Reply

    navy dude

    April 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    awesome speech.love abe lincoln.John wilkes booth stinks!

    Reply

    Vanessa p.

    May 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Awesome!!! LOVED the speech it was absolutely perfff.

    Reply

    Avenger Nerd

    November 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    I went to D.C and saw Ford theater and the manorial. Pretty cool!

    Reply

    Wise Guy is back

    November 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    THE REPEAT MACHIENE

    4 Responses to “Your Guide To the ‘Gettysburg Address’”

    Reply

    Anonymous

    April 22, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    awesome speech and pictures.Love Abe Lincoln.best president ever!

    Reply

    navy dude

    April 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    awesome speech.love abe lincoln.John wilkes booth stinks!

    Reply

    Vanessa p.

    May 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Awesome!!! LOVED the speech it was absolutely perfff.

    Reply

    Avenger Nerd

    November 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    I went to D.C and saw Ford theater and the manorial. Pretty cool!

    (ERASE EMOTICONS) (CLEAR) (ON/OFF)

    —————————————————————————————————————————-
    (ERASE EMOTICONS) (CLEAR) (ON/OFF)

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