Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was born 204 years ago today in a one-room log cabin on the Sinking Spring Farm in Hardin County, Kentucky (now LaRue County).  His family was poor and he was mostly self-educated but became a country lawyer, a Whig Party leader, Illinois state legislator during the 1830s, and a one-term member of the United States House of Representatives during the 1840s.

Lincoln's election as President and his stance against the expansion of slavery led seven Southern states to secede from the union and form the Confederate States of America which, in fact, was the root cause of the Civil War.

On November 19, 1863, Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to deliver the most popular and famous Presidential speech in history.  He spoke on the sight of a long and deadly battle between the two sides of Americans.  It's interesting that included in the text were the words "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here".  It is estimated he spoke just a little over 90 seconds yet the world remembers.  I had to memorize this speech in grade school and with very few mistakes I can still recite most of it today.

I post that famous speech today in honor of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America.  Happy birthday, Mr. President.

"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 battle-field 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."

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