The Gettysburg Address


Today is the 150th anniver­sary of the deliv­ery of one of the most famous speech­es in the entire his­to­ry of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca: the Get­tys­burg Address, by Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln. In hon­or of this, the music on Radio Riel’s Main stream is pri­mar­i­ly Amer­i­can Folk and Amer­i­can pop­u­lar music of the mid-to-late 19th Cen­tu­ry. Today’s pro­gram also fea­tures the won­der­ful “Lin­coln Por­trait” by Aaron Cop­land.

Pres­i­dent Lin­coln gave this speech after the bat­tle of Get­tys­burg, Penn­syl­va­nia, one of the dead­liest bat­tles in what is still the dead­liest war in Amer­i­can his­to­ry. This sim­ple two-minute speech has become an icon­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Amer­i­can free­dom. I (Gabrielle Riel) and my 5th grade class­mates mem­o­rized it as we stud­ied Amer­i­can his­to­ry. Here is what we came to know by heart:

Four score and sev­en years ago our fathers brought forth on this con­ti­nent, a new nation, con­ceived in Lib­er­ty, and ded­i­cat­ed to the propo­si­tion that all men are cre­at­ed equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civ­il war, test­ing whether that nation, or any nation so con­ceived and so ded­i­cat­ed, can long endure. We are met on a great bat­tle-field of that war. We have come to ded­i­cate a por­tion of that field, as a final rest­ing place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is alto­geth­er fit­ting and prop­er that we should do this.

But, in a larg­er sense, we can not ded­i­cate — we can not con­se­crate — we can not hal­low — this ground. The brave men, liv­ing and dead, who strug­gled here, have con­se­crat­ed it, far above our poor pow­er to add or detract. The world will lit­tle note, nor long remem­ber what we say here, but it can nev­er for­get what they did here. It is for us the liv­ing, rather, to be ded­i­cat­ed here to the unfin­ished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here ded­i­cat­ed to the great task remain­ing before us — that from these hon­ored dead we take increased devo­tion to that cause for which they gave the last full mea­sure of devo­tion — that we here high­ly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of free­dom — and that gov­ern­ment of the peo­ple, by the peo­ple, for the peo­ple, shall not per­ish from the earth.

Abra­ham Lin­coln
Novem­ber 19, 1863

Today’s pro­gram is pre­sent­ed by Gabrielle Riel. To lis­ten, click here to start your play­er . If you are in the Unit­ed States, please use the fol­low­ing link: .

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