November 19, 2015

Today in History: Abraham Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address (1863)

John RobsonResident Historian

When Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, he forever captured the meaning of the American Civil War in just 10 elegant, haunting sentences.

Evoking the Declaration of Independence and the fragile nature of self-government, deflecting attention from the author to the fallen soldiers, it challenged and still challenges Americans, and everyone who loves liberty, to understand that freedom must be defended and that there must be rights for all if there are to be secure rights for any of us.


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commented 2015-11-20 11:16:19 -0500
In Canada we have government by the elites for the elites as determined by the elites in the mainstream media. Some in the media are so far up the PMS arse you can only see their shoes, the tips of their silk ties and the spikes of their high heels. The Liberal gravy train is back on the tracks baby and it’s good times in Eliteville. Watch your wallets suckers.
commented 2015-11-19 22:41:42 -0500
A speech of such clear thought put into words where not one is wasted. It is so rare that current pragmatic leaders can barely grasp it. How I admire this craftsmanship of expression, and that dramatic clarity of mind. A man whose thought was guided by principled thinking, not mindless emotion.
commented 2015-11-19 19:51:05 -0500
Of all politician, from any time, from any nation, I admire Lincoln above them all. The Gettysburg Address was powerful and moving, the second inaugural address was powerful and moving, his Cooper Union address was brilliant, but his Proclamation 97 just weeks before the battle at Gettysburg gives real insight into the heart of the man. I will include it here below:

“Whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord; And, insomuch as we know that by His divine law nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness. Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do by this my proclamation designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. And I do hereby request all the people to abstain on that day from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite at their several places of public worship and their respective homes in keeping the day holy to the Lord and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion. All this being done in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the divine teachings that the united cry of the nation will be heard on high and answered with blessings no less than the pardon of our national sins and the restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Signed by: ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President Witnessed by: WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State”

That is the typed of leader the our Country, The US and the world needs today.
commented 2015-11-19 16:13:22 -0500
Lincoln was a great leader, in the truest sense of the word. How desperately do we need a leader of his caliber in the world we live in today.