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150th Anniversary of Gettysburg Address

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by YankeeFan, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Next week is the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

    Here's some background on it from the Ken Burns Civil War Documentary: http://bit.ly/1a0FtkC

    What I didn't know, or had forgotten, was that he followed a speech that was nearly two hours long.

    Who has been to Gettysburg? Did you ever learn/memorize the speech? Is it the greatest speech ever?

    What other thought do you have regarding the Gettysburg Address?
  2. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Yes, No, Yes
  3. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    fact or fiction: he finished it on the back of an envelope on the trip from DC to Gettysburg.

    The Battle/Siege of Vicksburg was arguably more important than Gettysburg, as Meade let Lee retreat prolonging the war for another 20 months or so. Both Battles ended on July 4, 1863. With Vicksburg under Union control, the Mississippi was under Union control, thus the West was won for the Union.

    Burns documentary got me to read SHelby Foote's Civil War trilogy. The single most enjoyable reading experience of my life.
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Poor Edward Everett. Spoke for 2 hours, then had two mere minutes consign him to be a footnote in history. He did serve as Secretary of State very briefly.

    One thing that I learned about the day of the speech in college: The battlefield was obviously a wreck, and while the bodies of the soldiers had been buried, there had been so many of them, that there hadn't been time to bury the dead horses, so there were rotting horses and skeletons all over the field when Lincoln and Everett made their speeches.
  5. H.L. Mencken

    H.L. Mencken Member

    If I recall correctly from Burns or Foote, Lincoln wasn't quite booed as he left the stage, but the audience had almost no reaction and it was quite some time (like after the speech was printed in papers and digested and analyzed) before the gravity of what was said was understood by people.
  6. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    Who has been to Gettysburg?

    >>> I have, about 40 times. Amazing place.

    Did you ever learn/memorize the speech?

    >>>> Yes, in 7th or 8th-grade civics.

    Is it the greatest speech ever?

    >>> In American history, yes, I think so, especially considering its brevity. Some of Churchill's during WWII are its equal, I think.

    What other thought do you have regarding the Gettysburg Address?

    >>> Lincoln summarized the American experience in less than 500 words. It's a beautiful piece of writing. The "We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground" and the "of the people, by the people, and for the people" phrases are spot-on perfect.
  7. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    The classics of antiquity, Shakespeare and the Old Testament (or in my house The Testament) were Lincoln's foundation of education. His ability to write and orate come largely from this body of literature which is now mostly relegated to post graduate study. RIP OWM, Old White Men.
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Heck, the audience might have been, like, "That's his whole speech? Two lousy minutes?"
  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Almost all of the 'classical' depictions of the scene show Lincoln standing up on a wooden podium to address the crowd, but the one actual photograph of the scene shows him standing in the MIDDLE of the crowd of 15,000, which means most likely nobody more than about 25 feet from him heard much of the speech.


    In answer to the questions,

    1) Went when I was 7 years old. Only very vaguely remember it.

    2) Yeah, I memorized it in grade school.

    3) Certainly one of the 3-5 greatest in American political history.
  10. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Eisenhower spoke at Gettysburg on the 100th anniversary (11/19/1963). Something notable happened three days later ...
  11. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    I was in Gettysburg in June. Amazing place and I highly recommend it. I hope to make it back there again, and be able to tour a couple other Civil War battlefields.

    I remember going to the Wheat Field, where something like 20,000 men fought, and just standing in the middle of it. Pretty overwhelming to think of how many men died just in that area.

    The memorial built in the cemetery to memorialize the Gettysburg Address is not actually where the speech was given. It was actually given, if I remember correctly, a little bit north of there where the public cemetery now is.
  12. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    Antietam is just 50 miles southwest of Gettysburg. And Harper's Ferry is just 30 minutes south from Antietam. It can make for a very nice long weekend
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