On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln was scheduled secondarily to follow famed orator Edward Everett at the consecration of the National Cemetary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Lincoln’s speech took all of two minutes. However, he was able to distill principles of the Founding Fathers and to apply them to a country forever changed by the Civil War.
The National Archives includes the Gettysburg Address as one of the 100 milestone documents to shape the history of the United States. The Library of Congress holds two drafts of the Address; click here to view an exhibit.
To read more about Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address, see Lincoln’s Counsel: Lessons from America’s Most Persuasive Speaker, by Arthur Rizer III.