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The Gettysburg Address

November 18, 2013

In1860 the presidential vote was split four ways.  Despite receiving just under 40% of the popular vote, Lincoln won the Electoral College vote and became the nation’s 16th President.  Among the losers was vice-presidential candidate Edward Everett, the renowned orator, educator, and statesman. 

 

In 1863 Everett was chosen as principal speaker for the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg.  Lincoln was also asked to speak.  Although Everett was one of the good guys of history, many historians have been unkind to his memory.  Everett delivered a great speech on November 19, 1863, and that is what makes Lincoln’s pithy remarks all the more impressive.

 

Everett tied the accomplishment of the Union Army to the great struggles of history.  Lincoln, in just a few minutes showed how the struggle to save the Union was based on the principles found in the nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence.    

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