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The Gettysburg Address is the most famous speech of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and one of the most quoted Famous Speeches in United States history. It was delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863, during the American Civil War, four and a half months after the Battle of Gettysburg.

Lincoln's carefully crafted address, secondary to other presentations that day, has ultimately become regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history. In fewer than 300 words delivered over two to three minutes, Lincoln invoked the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and redefined the Civil War as a struggle not merely for the Union, but as "a new birth of freedom" that would bring true equality to all of its citizens. Beginning with the now iconic phrase "four score and seven years ago," Lincoln referred to the events of the American Revolution and described the ceremony at Gettysburg as an opportunity not only to dedicate the grounds of a cemetery, but also to consecrate the living in the struggle to ensure that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Despite the speech's prominent place in the history and popular culture of the United States, the exact wording of the speech is disputed. The five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address differ in a number of details and also differ from contemporary newspaper reprints of the speech. It was a speech by Abraham Lincoln during the dedication ceremony of a national cemetery on the field of one of the major battles in the Civil war. Mr Lincoln was not the main speaker, but was asked to attend and say a few words.

The most commonly accepted version goes like this: "Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon 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 battlefield 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 cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot 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...shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth." A pretty good show for children to learn about the Gettysburg Address is the Charlie Brown (Peanuts) special "This Is America, Charlie Brown" The Smithsonian and the Presidency (1989).

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2015-04-26 06:54:15
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Q: What is the Gettysburg Address?
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