The Road to America Leads Through Gettysburgtags: Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, Gettysburg Address
Nancy F. Koehn is a historian at the Harvard Business School.
All roads to our America lead through Gettysburg. 150 years ago, President Lincoln arrived there around dusk and set foot on the sacred soil that, just four months earlier, had run with blood of the Civil War. Then the next morning, November 19, 1863, he stood under a clear sky—on earth since transformed from a battlefield to a burial ground—and delivered a deceptively simple speech atop Cemetery Hill that, in just a few short minutes, changed American history forever.
To this day, the Gettysburg Address continues to shape who we are as a people and as a nation. Without it, we don’t have Martin Luther King, Jr. standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 100 years later saying, “I Have a Dream.” We don’t have John and Robert Kennedy taking the first tentative steps toward civil rights legislation. We don’t have, nearly 50 years after that, the election of our nation’s first black president.
Without the Gettysburg Address, we don’t have the promise of America brought to complicated, often difficult life....
comments powered by Disqus
- King Tut had overbite, club foot because his parents were brother and sister
- Prehistoric humans were far smarter than previously assumed
- Priests race to save manuscripts from jihadists in Iraq
- Where Mud Is Archaeological Gold, Russian History Grew on Trees
- Conflict Uncovers a Ukrainian Identity Crisis Over Deep Russian Roots
- Highlights of the recent Oral History Association Meeting
- Rick Perlstein response to Sam Tanenhaus's complaint that he's an aggregator
- Thai historian faces charges for daring to challenge a story about a royal king
- It's Rick Perlstein vs. Judith Stein in a Three Round Fight
- Park Honan, a Biographer of Authors, Is Dead at 86