Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Kelcie Fredrickson

On November 19, 1863, a speech was given at the Gettysburg National Cemetery that was expected by no one. This speech is known as the Gettysburg Address, and it was the wakeup call that our nation so desperately needed. Abraham Lincoln was asked to give a speech after this tragic battle on Thursday, November 19, 1863, but he was not the first choice. Edward Everett, an orator from Massachusetts, started off the ceremony with a 2 hour speech of dedication. For 2 hours, the large crowd listened in with eager ears and as he finished, they erupted with applause. When Lincoln rose to give his speech, he didn’t wait for the crowd to be silenced, he began anyway causing few people to hear Lincoln’s speech. The ones who did will never forget that day because in 2 minutes, Lincoln had a bigger impact than Everett did in 2 hours. During his speech says, “… and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” At the time, not all men were equal; slavery was a major problem. He had proposed the idea that all men are created equal and this idea was later made true in the Declaration of Independence that was adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776. Lincoln had, with or without knowing, proposed the idea that ended slavery. Lincoln once said, “…a house divided cannot stand.” Lincoln knew that slavery was the reason for the war. Also in the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln says, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here,” but Lincoln was wrong. Kelcie Fredrickson Fisher Jr/Sr High School Fisher, IL