History,  Stateside

Seven score and ten years ago

On its 150th anniversary, my sister sent this mashup of the greatest speech ever delivered by an American.

Even in this form, the powerful simplicity and truth of the words come through.

The final sentence of the Gettysburg Address is usually recited with the emphasis as follows: “…government OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people…” I like to think Lincoln himself placed the emphasis differently: “…government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, for the PEOPLE…”

But it works either way.

A few days after the speech, the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Patriot-News published the following:

We pass over the silly remarks of the President. For the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall be no more repeated or thought of.

One hundred and fifty years later, the Patriot-News regretted the error.