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Watch this terrific YouTube video in which the actor Jeff Daniels makes the Gettysburg Address the emotional powerhouse Lincoln meant it to be.
Read this brief description of how Lincoln came to deliver the speech.
The Gettysburg Address, written and delivered by President Abraham Lincoln, is one of the most famous speeches in American history. Lincoln wrote the speech for the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863. Four months earlier, the battle of Gettysburg had been a brutal and bloody turning point in America's Civil War (1861-1865). The battle of Gettysburg turned the tide in favor of the North. However, both sides, North and South, paid dearly in lives lost.
The need for a place to bury the dead became obvious when the people of Gettysburg realized that thousands of Union soldiers slain in battle were not properly buried. Heavy rains had descended on the field of war and dislodged some of the bodies interred in too shallow graves. It was the sight of bodies washed out of the earth that started the movement to create a Soldier's National Cemetery.
The only known picture of Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address.
Last change made to this page: April 10, 2011