The Gettysburg Address: Much Noted and Long Remembered

tags: Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address



Ronald C. White Jr., a fellow at the Huntington Library and a visiting professor of history at UCLA, is the author of "A. Lincoln: A Biography."

The celebration of the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address offers an opportunity not simply to memorialize an extraordinary speech; it provides a model and a mirror for writing and speechmaking today.

"It's only words": This phrase captures what many feel about writing today. After all, our casual, rapid-fire communiques are tossed off at the push of a "send" button.

Within days of the battle of Gettysburg, plans were put in place to establish and dedicate the first national military cemetery. Gettysburg, Pa., civic leader David Wills invited Edward Everett, former president of Harvard University and the nation's leading orator, to offer the main address. Later, Wills invited Lincoln to offer "a few appropriate remarks." Definitely second fiddle....




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