The address, delivered Nov. 19, 1863, at the dedication of a cemetery for soldiers killed in the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War, was not even the main event of the ceremony. The 150th anniversary of one of the shortest, but most powerful speeches in the history of our nation.
Former Massachusetts Gov. and U.S. Sen. Edward Everett, the day’s main speaker, spoke for two hours before Lincoln delivered the address, which begins “Four score and seven years ago …” and ends with the oft-repeated call that the “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
EXCLUSIVE: Republican National Committee Chairman weighed in on such a historical day
“Even though President Lincoln thought “[t]he world will little note, nor long remember what we say here,” his words have echoed through the generations, and the Gettysburg Address took its place in the canon of great speeches.
“On this anniversary we should remember the words of our first Republican president, but more importantly we should remember the people his words were meant to honor: the brave men who fought and gave their lives to the cause of liberty and to fulfill the promise of our Declaration of Independence.
“And 150 years later, we should remain dedicated to that great cause of which he spoke, defending freedom so “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” – RNC Chairman Reince Priebus