News / USA

Lincoln's Words at Gettysburg Resonate 150 Years Later

Lincoln's Words at Gettysburg Battlefield Resonate 150 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
November 12, 2013 9:56 PM
One hundred and fifty years ago, at the height of the U.S. Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivered a short address at a battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. While dedicating a cemetery, Lincoln paid tribute to the soldiers who had fought there. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
Deborah Block
Abraham Lincoln is shown in an October 1858 photograph by W.A. Thomson, taken in Monmouth, Illinois.Abraham Lincoln is shown in an October 1858 photograph by W.A. Thomson, taken in Monmouth, Illinois.
x
Abraham Lincoln is shown in an October 1858 photograph by W.A. Thomson, taken in Monmouth, Illinois.
Abraham Lincoln is shown in an October 1858 photograph by W.A. Thomson, taken in Monmouth, Illinois.
One hundred and fifty years ago this month (November 19), at the height of the U.S. Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivered a short address at a battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The bloody battle that had taken place there several months earlier is now considered the turning point of the war. While dedicating a cemetery, Lincoln paid tribute to the soldiers who had fought at Gettysburg. He also laid stress on freedom and equality. 

In his two-minute speech, President Lincoln recalled the fighting in Gettysburg, which took the lives of tens of thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers. He honored “the brave men, living and dead who struggled here.” From 1861 to 1865, the Northern states - the Union, fought the South - the Confederacy, which had seceded from the nation over several issues, including slavery.

Martin Johnson, history professor at Miami University in Ohio, has written a new book called Writing the Gettysburg Address. He says the president sought continuing support for the Union as the civil war dragged on.

He said, “He knew he had to impress the nation with the importance of the cause, why this war was so important and so crucial."

Shortly before he went to Gettysburg, the president was at this cottage in Washington, where he would go to escape distractions at the White House. Callie Hawkins, program director at the renovated cottage, says this was no retreat, since a military cemetery was next door.

“It gave him an opportunity to think and reflect, and think through his ideas of the civil war and emancipation. Lincoln saw burials every day," she said.

Those ideas, Hawkins says, would have influenced his writing of the Gettysburg Address, which borrowed the line that “all men are created equal” from the U.S. Declaration of Independence.  Lincoln also spoke about “a new nation, conceived in liberty” and “a new birth of freedom.”  

Lincoln's words resonate with 12-year-old Carrie Otal. She said, “He got us through the slavery, and freedom for everyone is very important. Slave owners thought they had the liberty of owning slaves, but slaves thought liberty meant freedom, and I think he gave everyone the liberty they deserve.”

Johnson says Lincoln wrote the address at the White House and then polished it at this home in Gettysburg. Word of the speech spread quickly.

“The speech became popular and important almost immediately because many people, especially editorialists in newspapers, and political figures, recognized that it condensed the lesson of the war in a very brief manner," he said. "Within months, it was used in political speeches. It became rooted very quickly in American memory about what the civil war meant."

He says the Gettysburg Address also became known worldwide.

“It’s taught in schools in Japan, Nigeria, Argentina and elsewhere," he said.

In his address, President Lincoln said “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.” Little did he know that not only would the world note and remember, but the speech would become one the most famous in history.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 22, 2013 10:12 AM
Here is a historic undertone, and Americans love their history. While Americans celebrate one historic president and event. Americans from the president are creating another historic rape on democracy at the Senate. Something that has been there decoratively displaying the beauty, elegance and versatility of the American democracy is being altered in order to shore up one man placed above all in the country who is not able to differentiate his left from his right. This is not what we to see in superpower USA. America should continue to evoke the glorious prestige associated with its name, and the sympathy to one man because is from a disadvantaged region should not be allowed to rubbish what the founding fathers of the nation toiled over time to achieve. Democrats in the Senate should think before they act. The country does not belong to one man, don't destroy it because of one man.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid