About "These Are Their Stories"

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sam Waterston Voices Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

Sam Waterston as Lincoln


NPR.org has a recording of Sam Waterston’s reading of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address on their web site, here. Just look at the top of NPR’s web page and choose if you’d like to hear it using Windows Media or Real Media to hear the recording.

Here’s the text of the Gettysburg Address, in case you don’t recall it, or, for my international readers who may not be familiar with the speech.

The Gettysburg Address

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 cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot 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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Lincoln delivered this speech at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, during the American Civil War. This was four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the decisive Battle of Gettysburg. This battle had the largest number of casualies in the American Civil War, and was considered a turning point. This speech is viewed as one of the greatest speeches in American history. Lincoln took just a little over two minutes to deliver his powerful message, and he redefined the Civil War as a struggle not only for the Union, but as "a new birth of freedom" that would bring equality to all of its citizens.


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5 comments:

Deleilan said...

Thank you for your very interesting post. Coincidentally, there's a good chance I'll be visiting Gettysburg next week. As one of your non-American readers, this will help me to understand the importance of the site.

Isn't that picture eery? I literally did a double take!

(By the way, there's a little typo in your title...)

These Are Their Stories said...

Oops! Thanks for the heads up on the typo. I hate it when I do that!

Enjoy your trip!

samfan said...

Great post. Sam is so good playing/voicing Lincoln

Jack McCoy said...

Thank you very much, he indeed speaks magnificently, his voice is just, he is the best interpreter of Abe Lincoln. I listened to several times " Gettysburg Adress " and every time I have shudders

samfan said...

These are their stories/jack mccoy have you seen the photos of sam on flickr,from the Spirit of Humanity Awards. Pretty nice pictures. And that Sam is staring in Hamlet in Central Park this summer, as Polonius. Just a heads up.