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Gettysburg Address

Original post made by Craig Laughton on Nov 19, 2013

With respect to President Lincoln, and due to the fact that our current American kids have little clue, I offer the following on this 150th anniversary of his speech:

"Four score 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 can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not 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 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."

Note: We were required to memorize it, when I was in middle school. I'm glad it was required. Rote memorization is a very good thing, sometimes.

Comments (14)

Posted by Critic, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Nov 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Use-All-of-Lincoln's-Words, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm

American students have not done well on history/government tests for a long time now--in large part because history/government seems to be given short shrift in a lot of the public schools. No doubt that this is why so many students seem clueless about history/government.

It seems Barak Obama has, at one point, recited the Gettysberg Address, and this video has been uploaded to Youtube:

Web Link

What's interesting is that Mr. Obama, in all of his radiant glory, has managed to remove a couple of words from his version of Abraham Lincoln's now famous speech. Mr. Obama seems to have removed the words: "under God" from those words Mr. Lincoln felt compelled to include in this short speech.

Is that a good thing? For a President to willfully modify another President's words for his own agenda?


Posted by Perry mason, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Not their fault, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Today's kids do not know much about history, geography, sociology, art or literature, because the schools have told them that these are unimportant in today's and tomorrow's worlds. Mathematics and the sciences are all that are important for tomorrow's
employment opportunities, they are told.

My child has been coming home and telling me this since third grade; he has been in Palo Alto schools his whole life.

What about the kids who do not want those math or science careers, or have talents in other subjects???


Posted by Christian, a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Interestingly, the last phrase,... "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."
is taken from John Wycliffe's first translation of the Bible into the English language in 1384. ""This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People."

Once again, this nation was founded on the principles of Christianity.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 19, 2013 at 8:05 pm

>Interesting that Craig Laughton, who has nothing but contempt for the poor and downtrodden, is lecturing us about the gettysburg address.

I don't have contempt for them. I just want them to be criminalized, so that they can be taken off our streets, and put into enforced care. Giuliani did this and it worked. Without criminalization, there will be no solution. My view is humane, yours is not. Lincoln used force to oppose discrimination, and it cost over 600,000 American lives. His wisdom is what I support, as expressed in the Gettysburg Address.


Posted by Perry mason, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm

You are all confused, Craig. We are not talking about the homeless, we are discussing the poor and downtrodden. Do you want to criminalize being poor? Perhaps you are suggesting we should establish debtors prisons. And Giuliani ( the man who profits from 9/11) just had a zero tolerance policy for any crime, I do not think he threw poor people into jail like you propose. You are just full of the milk of human kindness, Craig-- you were probably breast fed sour milk when you were aged 1-18


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm

>Do you want to criminalize being poor?

Nothing wrong with being poor...for the first several years of life, I was raised relatively poor. My way out, and my parents' way out was to work hard. I have no idea what you are really talking about.

I am talking about the Gettysburg Address. Care to get back on subject?


Posted by Observer, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Nov 19, 2013 at 8:24 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Perry mason, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 19, 2013 at 8:50 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by That User Name is already, a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2013 at 10:01 am

That User Name is already is a registered user.

Poster @"Use-All-of-Lincoln's-Words"

...is a perfect example of someone who listens to the right wing echo chamber without showing enough intellectual curiosity to do a simple Google search.

She wrote: "What's interesting is that Mr. Obama, in all of his radiant glory.... Mr. Obama seems to have removed the words: "under God" from those words Mr. Lincoln felt compelled to include in this short speech."

Then she asked: "Is that a good thing? For a President to willfully modify another President's words for his own agenda?"

What a crock!

President Obama recited, word for word, the original draft of the Gettysburg Address. He did not remove the phrase "Under God" because IT WASN'T INCLUDED in that draft (source: Library of Congress.)

The right wing noise machine puffs out it's chest and blows hard, at least a few of the sites issued an apology after they investigated.

For example, the National Review Online published an semi-apology:

"During today's White House press briefing, press secretary Jay Carney claimed that President Obama had read from the version of the Gettysburg Address given to him by documentarian Ken Burns. This appears to be the case. As Mediaite notes, the website for Burns' upcoming project, Learn the Address, says that there are five manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address and that Obama read from the "Nicolay Version." This version of the manuscript is believed to be the earliest of the copies of the Address, and it does omit the phrase "under God." Three of the five manuscripts do include the phrase."

TWO of the five manuscripts (the originals) do not include the phrase. Obama read the version Mr Burns recommended - the "Nicolay Version."

From the LOC:

"Of the five known manuscript copies of the Gettysburg Address, the Library of Congress has two. President Lincoln gave one of these to each of his two private secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay. The other three copies of the Address were written by Lincoln for charitable purposes WELL AFTER November 19. The copy for Edward Everett, the orator who spoke at Gettysburg for two hours prior to Lincoln, is at the Illinois State Historical Library in Springfield; the Bancroft copy, requested by historian George Bancroft, is at Cornell University in New York; the Bliss copy was made for Colonel Alexander Bliss, Bancroft's stepson, and is now in the Lincoln Room of the White House."

I am sure Poster @"Use-All-of-Lincoln's-Words" is now desperately searching Youtube for actual video of Lincoln's Address to prove herself.

Good luck with that...




Posted by That User Name is already, a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2013 at 10:07 am

That User Name is already is a registered user.

Poster @Christian - "Once again, this nation was founded on the principles of Christianity."

We were founded in 1863?

Odd. A number of years before that (about 4 score and change,) a couple fellows got together and jotted a few things down.

Article VI, paragraph 3:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned... shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but NO RELIGIOUS TEST shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.


Posted by Bru, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Bru is a registered user.

The Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page ... Web Link

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." -Samuel Johnson

Boswell tells us that Samuel Johnson made this famous pronouncement that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel on the evening of April 7, 1775. He doesn't provide any context for how the remark arose, so we don't really know for sure what was on Johnson's mind at the time.

However, Boswell assures us that Johnson was not indicting patriotism in general, only false patriotism.

Samuel Johnson quotes on Patriotism ...

"A patriot is he whose publick conduct is regulated by one single motive, the love of his country; who, as an agent in parliament, has, for himself, neither hope nor fear, neither kindness nor resentment, but refers every thing to the common interest."

"Some claim a place in the list of patriots, by an acrimonious and unremitting opposition to the court. This mark is by no means infallible. Patriotism is not necessarily included in rebellion. A man may hate his king, yet not love his country."


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