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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid