The 151st Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address


On this date in 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the Union cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Lincoln’s brief remarks followed the hours-long oration of Edward Everett, which has largely been forgotten. The Chicago Times editorialized embarrassment at Lincoln’s speech, but Everett himself felt that Lincoln had said more in two minutes than he had said in two hours. In less than 300 words, Lincoln surveyed America’s past founding and its then-present civil war, ending with the hope that its future would be characterized by a “new birth of freedom.” Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth … Continue reading The 151st Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

Why Did President Obama Omit ‘Under God’ from the Gettysburg Address When 63 Other Prominent Americans Included It?


For the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, Ken Burns asked a number of prominent Americans to recite the Gettysburg Address on camera. You may or may not know that there are five extant copies of the address in Lincoln’s hand—the so-called Nicolay, Hay, Everett, Bancroft, and Bliss copies (listed in chronological order of production). The Nicolay copy was the first draft of the speech, prepared before Lincoln delivered it. The Hay, Everett, Bancroft, and Bliss copies were prepared after he delivered it. There are a variety of differences between these copies. For our purposes, the most important difference is … Continue reading Why Did President Obama Omit ‘Under God’ from the Gettysburg Address When 63 Other Prominent Americans Included It?

Obama Leaves Out ‘Under God’ in His Recitation of the Gettysburg Address [UPDATED]


Ken Burns has posted a video of President Barack Obama reciting the Gettysburg Address. Amazingly, the president fails to recite the words under God in the phrase, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.” I’m not sure why President Obama deleted this phrase. (I’ll leave that to conspiracy mongers.) There are five copies of the Gettysburg Address from Lincoln’s lifetime, known as the Bliss, Nicolay, Hay, Everett, and Bancroft copies. The Bliss copy–the only one with Lincoln’s signature on it–is generally considered authoritative. It and the Everett and Bancroft copies contain the words under God, while the … Continue reading Obama Leaves Out ‘Under God’ in His Recitation of the Gettysburg Address [UPDATED]

The Gettysburg Address at 150 [UPDATED]


Today–November 19, 2013–is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. In that speech, President Abraham Lincoln said, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.” In fact, his words are precisely what we remember about that momentous battle, which was fought on July 1-3, 1863. Here is the text of Lincoln’s landmark speech. 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, … Continue reading The Gettysburg Address at 150 [UPDATED]

Review of ‘The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation’ by Hennessy and McConnell


Jonathan Hennessy and Aaron McConnell, The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation (New York: William Morrow, 2013). $15.99, 224 pages. At the outset, I should confess that I am not a reader of graphic novels. Indeed, The Gettysburg Address by Jonathan Hennessy (writer) and Aaron McConnell (artist) is the first one I have ever read from cover to cover, let alone with any enjoyment. I am, however, a lover of all things Lincoln, so in the sesquicentennial of his address, I resolved to purchase and read this graphic novel. A graphic novel has to be reviewed in two parts: the substance … Continue reading Review of ‘The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation’ by Hennessy and McConnell