On November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the #military battlefield cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, President Abraham #Lincoln delivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history in a short, two minute long speech. Using just 272 words, Lincoln eloquently reminded a war-weary public why the Union had to fight and win the Civil War. At the time, Lincoln had no idea how famous his short speech would become.
Did you know that there are actually five different versions of the Gettysburg address in Lincoln's handwritng? The following is the last known copy, and the only one signed and dated by Lincoln himself. It is currently on display in the White House. You can read the other versions here.
The Gettysburg Address
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.
November 19, 1863