November 23, 2018

Positivity: Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was forgotten once, but never again

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Salena Zito, at the Washington Examiner:

November 16, 2018 09:53 AM

In the days that followed Abraham Lincoln’s 272-word speech to thousands of onlookers in this small Pennsylvania farm town, few newspapers in the country immediately reported on the speech.

When they did, explains historian Michael Kraus, it was mostly dour examination, filled with misquotes of the 16th president’s words.

“There were a lot of mistakes in those first reports. Words weren’t heard well, order was mixed up. The speech didn’t appear in every newspaper the next day, or the next day, or the next day,” Kraus said from his artifact-filled basement office at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh, where he serves as the curator.

When it finally did, the reviews were sharply critical.

“A paper in Boston ripped it to shreds; so did other papers across the North,” said Kraus.

Even the local Harrisburg paper, the Harrisburg Patriot and Union, dismissed it as mindless gibberish. “We pass over the silly remarks of the President. For the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall be no more repeated or thought of,” it opined.

In truth, it took decades for anyone to think much of the speech, or even think of it all.

“It wasn’t until well over a quarter-century later that it began to emerge in the American psyche across the country that this speech was more than a speech, it defined who we were for eternity,” said Kraus days before the 155th anniversary of a speech that took less than two minutes to give and nearly a 100 years to reach the reverence it holds today.

It is a lesson in understanding the effects of time. Time doesn’t always erode and bury the past. Sometimes, it helps us better appreciate what was long right in front of us.

“History shows us greatness often isn’t appreciated in the moment,” Kraus said, “as historians we are always discovering new powerful things that have happened that have barely been told or passed along.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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