This day in history:
Abraham Lincoln attends the consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, in honor of the Union soldiers who died during the battle four months prior.
The event’s featured speaker was not Lincoln, but instead the orator Edward Everett. During his oration, Everett rambled on for more than two hours. He was then followed by Lincoln, who gave (in just two minutes) one of the most famous speeches in American history, the Gettysburg Address, beginning with the lines:
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.
Disappointed in his own speech, Lincoln quickly sat down before anyone could capture a photograph. The only known photo of Lincoln at the event (shown above) was taken when he arrived, hours before his famous speech.
Following the event, Edward Everett wrote a letter to Lincoln, stating ”I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”
In his reply, Lincoln stated he was glad it wasn’t a ”total failure.”
November 19, 1863 - 148 years ago today.