Gettysburg, PA

This Day in History: November 19

William Saint Val

Lincoln delivered his most famous speech to a war-torn America

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Abraham Lincoln November 1863.Public Domain

On November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered his now-famous Gettysburg Address.

In just a few short minutes, Lincoln articulately summed up the purpose and meaning of the American Civil War: to ensure that "government of the people, by the people, for the people would not perish from this earth” (Lincoln 1).

The war had been fought for this ideal, and now it was time to remember those who had given their lives to see it realized.

With 272 words, Lincoln eloquently reaffirmed America's founding principles of liberty and equality while also calling for national unity in the midst of a devastating conflict that eventually claimed over 600,000 lives.

The Gettysburg Address would go on to become one of the most famous speeches in American history, cementing Lincoln's legacy.

Abraham Lincoln was one of the most skilled orators in American history. His ability to communicate effectively with his audience helped him win the presidency and ultimately lead the nation through some of its darkest hours.

Lincoln was known for his folksy style and ability to connect with common people. He often used stories and humor to make his points, which endeared him to many Americans.

During the Civil War, he was forced to make some of the toughest decisions in presidential history. After his assassination, Abraham Lincoln became even more revered for his words and deeds.

Today, he is considered one of America's greatest presidents, in large part due to his skill as an orator.

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address has resonated with Americans ever since it was first spoken over 150 years ago.

In a time of division and turmoil, they provide a much-needed reminder of what the United States stands for—and has always stood for—liberty and justice for all.

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