Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19

149 years ago: On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered an address at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to dedicate a military cemetery four months after the Battle of Gettysburg, which was the turning point of the Civil War and its single bloodiest battle: more than 45,000 men were killed, injured, missing or captured. In his 272-word speech lasting about two minutes, Lincoln consecrated the sacrifice of the fallen soldiers by invoking the founding principles of the United States under the dark shadow of the struggle to preserve the Union, and by reaffirming the equality of all Americans and the enduring nature of our democracy. Lincoln delivered the speech in ill health, at the onset of a mild case of smallpox. Pictured: Lincoln photographed less than two weeks prior to the Gettysburg Address, November 8, 1863.

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