It is the most famous speech Abraham Lincoln ever gave, and one of the most important orations in the history of the nation. Delivered on November 19, 1863, among the freshly dug graves of the Union dead, the Gettysburg Address defined the central meaning of the Civil War and gave cause for the nation’s incredible suffering. The poetic language and moral sentiment inspired listeners at the time and have continued to resonate powerfully with groups and individuals up to the present day.
We know that Lincoln was influenced by great thinkers on his own path toward literary and oratory genius, including his knowledge of the King James Bible and Shakespeare. His words have inspired countless thousands to dedicate themselves to the causes of equality and democracy, and his words have never felt more relevant. Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg in a defining moment for America, but his message is universal and timeless.