When my newly wed husband stands up to deliver a few remarks at the reception, more than a chuckle ensues from the small party of luncheon guests, already happy with a little champagne. He likens the best man's speech to the Gettysburg Address, for indeed it is brief, but impactful in marrying Scottish wit to boyhood tales of his younger brother's life in Glasgow. Thankfully it is not four score and seven (i.e. 87) years ago, and in this particular instance perhaps "the world will little note, nor long remember; what we say here..." Lincoln, by the way, could never have been more humble in his estimation of the power of the Gettysburg Address.
On November 19, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln addressed a crowd of more than 5,000 people at the dedication of the new Union Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He took two handwritten sheets from his pocket, and delivered a two-minute speech of 272 carefully chosen words that redefined the United States as a nation "dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal". The America Civil War which began on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina, would be fought until May 13 ,1865 at Palmito Ranch, near Brownsville, Texas, but the Gettysburg Address would go down in history as one of America's finest and most influential speeches. Lincoln asked people to remember why the cause of freedom was still worth fighting for, and he invited them to join together in the renewed belief that free people could govern themselves while upholding the principle that every person should have a fair and equal chance in life -- a principle strongly set forth in the Declaration of Independence.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Lincoln's' Gettysburg Address. (1895, Feb 12). Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1922)
- In Memory Of Lincoln: G. A. R. Plans To Issue Gettysburg Address In Bronze. (1906, Dec 30). New - York Tribune (1900-1910)
- Lincoln 51 Years Ago Today, Delivered Gettysburg Address, A Classic Of Simple Eloquence. (1914, Nov 19). The Washington Post (1877-1922)
- Lincoln Speech Marks Epoch. 1925, Feb 12). The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File
- Allen, S. W. (1930, Mar 02). The Story Of the Gettysburg Address: Dr. Barton Throws New Light On the Speech Lincoln Thought the World Would "Little Note Nor Long Remember". New York Times (1923-Current File)
- The Gettysburg Address Is Lincoln. (1934, Feb 12). The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File)
- Smith, S. T. V. (1935, Feb 23). "Foolish Lincoln": Lincoln's Gettysburg Address As It Looked When He Wrote It. The Chicago Defender (National Edition) (1921-1967)
- Boykin, E. (1941, Feb 12). Lincoln Felt Gettysburg Talk Flat. The Hartford Courant (1923-1994)
- Woman Who Reported Lincoln Gettysburg Address Honored. (1941, Nov 17). Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Woolcott, A. (1959, Nov 15). That Day At Gettysburg: Lincoln Was Talking To You! Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Search Educat, the catalog of the Gottesman Libraries to browse books on the topic of the Gettysburg Address
- Browse historical materials, including curriculum and images, relating to Gettysburg in Pocketknowledge, the digital archive.
- See the Gettysburg Address in the National Archives and also check out classroom resources, research links, and more
- Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Gettysburg, Wikimedia Commons
- Special News Slide, Courtesy of Edlab Studios
Need to keep current, look to the past, teach a topic? The Everett Cafe features daily postings of news from around the world, and also promotes awareness of historical events from an educational context. Be sure to check the news postings on Learning at the Library, where you can delve into history.