Exactly 150 years ago, one of the United States’ most well-known leaders gave his most famous speech: "Four score and seven years ago …"

Exactly 150 years ago, one of the United States’ most well-known leaders gave his most famous speech: "Four score and seven years ago …"


It was at the dedication of a military cemetery on the battleground where 45,000 men were killed, injured, captured or went missing. It was the single bloodiest battle of the Civil War.


President Abraham Lincoln wasn’t the only speaker that day. Famous orator Edward Everett spoke for two hours before Lincoln got in front of the crowd.


Two days later, Everett wrote to Lincoln: "Permit me also to express my great admiration of the thoughts expressed by you, with such eloquent simplicity and appropriateness, at the consecration of the cemetery. I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."


Lincoln’s speech was only 272 words.


"Fourscore 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. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure.


"We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground.


"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.


"It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."


Happy birthday Tuesday to Bill Godwin of Van Alstyne; Delbert Taylor and Nancy Jackson, both of Denison; Dadrien Calhoun, Lisa Nugent, Amiah Dehorney and Ron Marshall, all of Sherman; Howard Hughes Jr. of Denver, Colo.; Johnny Ingram of Princeton; Glenda Morgan of Cartwright, Okla.