On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his “Gettysburg Address” at the dedication of the cemetery created to intern the dead from the bloodiest battle of America’s Civil War at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
More than 45,000 men were killed wounded or were missing after the three day battle fought on July1st, 2nd, and 3rd, earlier that same year. Lincoln was asked merely two weeks before the dedication to offer a few word to Consecrate” the ground. Legend has it the address was written on the back of an envelope during the train ride from Washington to Gettysburg. The address, just 272 words long has become one of the most famous speeches ever written.
Edward Everett, an orator of the day, spoke for nearly 2 hours before Lincoln. Lincoln’s address lasted between 2 and 3 minutes and has been immortalized as the single document most defining of equality for all men as being the reason the bloody conflict must continue.