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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Gettysburg Address

Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address was delivered by the President on the afternoon of November 19, 1863, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg. He gave it at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, taken about noon, just after he arrived

Before Lincoln spoke, the crowd had heard a two-hour oration from the politician Edward Everett. By contrast, Lincoln's speech took two minutes.

Lincoln felt weak before the speech and was described as "pale" and "sickly" by those around him. He is now thought to have suffered a mild case of smallpox.

In his carefully crafted 272 word address Lincoln spoke of preserving a "nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." Though it came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, Lincoln at the time thought it was a failure.

The media greeted Lincoln's speech with criticism and apathy - The Chicago Times called it "silly, dishwatery utterances" and journalist Gabor Boritt reportedly stated that there was nothing good to say about the speech. The Patriot and Union newspaper called Lincoln's words "silly remarks" that deserved "a veil of oblivion" dropping over them. In November 2013 the Patriot News, as it is now called, apologized for its remarks and withdrew its criticism.

Nowadays the Gettysburg Address is considered a masterpiece of rhetoric, and is taught in every American school.

Nobody is sure of the exact words of Lincoln's speech. Several versions exist in his handwriting.

Sources Latin Times, Daily Express

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