Today in History, November 19th

11/19/2017

4 Score and 4 Trivia Questions about the Gettysburg Address

President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address on November 19th, 1863. It’s widely regarded as one of the famous speeches in history, but how much do you know about it? Try your hand at these four trivia questions about 272 words that proved a speech doesn’t have to be long to be memorable…

Who Wrote the Speech for Lincoln?

Rather than vilify the Confederacy after the battle of Gettysburg, Lincoln chose a more inclusionary tone for his speech. Photo credit: Greg Goebel/Flickr.

Today, whenever a president gives a speech, you know that it has been written by a professional speechwriter – someone who actually studied the art of public speaking and knows the mechanics of delivering a great speech. But in 1863, things were done a little differently. It was, in fact, Abraham Lincoln himself who wrote the Gettysburg Address – every word of it. He finished the speech the night before he gave it and spoke from the heart. That’s why it is still so powerful today.

Why Is This Speech So Famous?

Lincoln came out the night before his speech and told a few jokes to a crowd of several hundred people.

Lincoln could have made the speech all about defeating the South and winning the war, but he did not. Instead, he geared the speech toward keeping the country together, working together, healing rifts, and honoring the democratic intent of the country’s Founding Fathers. This was not a bitter speech, nor did it try to stir up anger or fear. It would have been very easy for Lincoln to go the emotional button-pressing route, but he took a more inclusionary path, reminding people that the war was not being fought to vanquish an enemy, but to hold together a country that was started with such promise.

What Was the Original Purpose of the Speech?

Lincoln’s speech was really supposed to be a short address that was more of an afterthought than anything else. The ceremony’s star guest was famed speaker Edward Everett, who spoke for two hours. Lincoln did plan out what he would say (the legend that he wrote it on the fly was just that, a legend), but his invitation was a last-minute decision, and he was supposed to be there more for moral support than anything else. Lincoln’s intent in the speech was to remind people of how important this war was to the country and to try to keep morale up after such a devastating battle. Instead, the short speech gradually gained a reputation for being one of the most eloquent examples of patriotism and devotion to the ideals of democracy.

What Newspaper Retracted the Poor Review it originally gave the Gettysburg Address 150 Years Later?

NPR did a tongue-in-cheek story about the paper’s retraction, including an interview with the Opinion Page editor.

At the time, newspapers made no bones about which side they supported. The Patriot-Union, a Pennsylvania newspaper, dismissed the president’s remarks as “silly” and wrote, “For the credit of the nation, we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that there shall be no more repeated or thought of.” At the 150 year anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, in 2013, the same newspaper, now known as the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, issued a retraction which read, “Seven score and ten years ago, the forefathers of this media institution brought forth to his audience a judgment so flawed, so tainted by hubris, so lacking in the perspective history would bring that it cannot remain unaddressed in our archives.”

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Article of the Day for September 25th

St Botolph’s Church, Quarrington

St Botolph’s Church is an Anglican place of worship in the village of Quarrington, part of the civil parish of Sleaford in Lincolnshire, England. By the time Domesday Book was compiled in 1086, a church in Quarrington was part of Ramsey Abbey’s fee, and around 1165 it was granted to Haverholme Priory. The right to present the rector was claimed by the Abbey in the 13th century, by the Bishop of Lincoln in the early 16th century, and by Robert Carre and his descendants after Carre acquired a manor at Quarrington. The oldest parts of the current building date to the 13th century, although substantial rebuilding took place over the following century. Renovations followed and the local architect Charles Kirk the Younger carried out restoration work in 1862 and 1863, when he added a chancel in his parents’ memory. The church consists of a tower and spire with a nave and north aisle spanning eastwards to the chancel. With capacity for 124 people, the church serves the ecclesiastic parish of Quarrington with Old Sleaford. Recognised for its age and tracery, the church has been designated a grade II* listed building. 

Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Learn Something New Everyday, It Makes Life Interesting© -Jill M Roberts 


Article of the Day 


Literary Hall

Literary Hall is a brick library building and museum in Romney, West Virginia, built in 1869 and 1870 by the Romney Literary Society. Founded in 1819, the society was the first literary organization of its kind in the present-day state of West Virginia, and one of the first in the United States. In 1846, the society constructed a building which housed the Romney Classical Institute and its library. During the Civil War the library’s contents were plundered by Union Army forces, and many of its 3,000 volumes were scattered or destroyed. The society transferred ownership of its Romney Classical Institute campus to the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind in 1870 and in that year completed Literary Hall, where the society reconstituted its library collection and revived its literary activities. The Romney Literary Society’s last meeting was held there in 1886. In 1979 the hall was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its basic design incorporates Federal and Greek Revival styles along with Victorian details. 

Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Learn Something New Everyday, It Makes Life Interesting© -Jill M Roberts 


Quote of the Day!

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Each of us, when our day’s work is done, must seek our ideal, whether it be love or pinochle or lobster à la Newburg, or the sweet silence of the musty bookshelves.

O. Henry

July 6, 1895: American short story writer William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. O. Henry, coined the term “banana republic” and is best known for his twist endings. In a bid to escape being jailed for embezzlement, he skipped town 118 years ago today, leaving Houston for New Orleans. He was caught, but ended up publishing several stories from behind bars.

Today’s Birthday

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William Thomas “W. T.” Cosgrave (Irish: Liam Tomás Mac Cosgair; 6 June 1880 – 16 November 1965), was an Irish politician who succeeded Michael Collins as Chairman of the Irish Provisional Government from August to December 1922. He served as the first President of the Executive Council (prime minister) of the Irish Free State from 1922 to 1932.[1]

William Thomas Cosgrave (1880)
Cosgrave was the first prime minister of the Irish Free State, which was created following a 1921 treaty with Britain. Serving from 1922 to 1932, he was able to maintain a democratic government despite several crises and the tensions related to the Irish struggle for sovereignty. Cosgrave was elected to British Parliament in 1918 but protested British rule by refusing to take his seat. Two years earlier, his role in the Easter Rising of 1916 earned him a death sentence. How did he avoid it?

Today’s Birthday

Today’s Birthday
Saint Catherine Labouré (1806)
Shortly after Labouré joined the Daughters of Charity, a religious order devoted to serving the poor, she reportedly began having visions of the Virgin Mary. In one, she was shown the design for what has come to be known as the Miraculous Medal, now worn by Christians the world over. Her role in the medal’s creation was concealed until after her death, so she lived out her life in relative obscurity. In 1947, she was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. What invocation appears on the medal?

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This Day in History

This Day in History
“Nessie” Reported for the First Time (1933)
More than 700 ft (213 m) deep, Loch Ness is the largest freshwater lake in the UK by volume. This makes it the perfect hiding place for a prehistoric creature—or so believers say. Though the legend of the Loch Ness Monster dates back to at least 565 BCE, modern accounts of “Nessie” date only to 1933, the year a local newspaper began reporting sightings of a fearsome, dragon-like creature in the lake. What natural phenomenon, known as a seiche, may be responsible for some of the sightings?

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This Day in History

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This Day in History
Brightest Supernova in Recorded History Appears in Night Sky (1006)
One thousand seven years ago, observers in China, Egypt, Iraq, Japan, and Switzerland recorded a new object in the sky. It was hard to miss. Scientists now believe SN 1006 was the brightest supernova in recorded human history. It was described by ancient astronomers as being low on the horizon but shining about half or a quarter as bright as the Moon. It could sometimes be seen during daylight hours and may have been bright enough to read by at night. How far was it from Earth?

This Day in History

This Day in History
Mountainside Collapses on Town in Alberta, Canada (1903)
Before dawn on April 29, 1903, millions of tons of limestone tumbled from the face of Alberta’s Turtle Mountain onto the valley below, burying several buildings on the outskirts of the coal mining town of Frank. Though dozens were killed, only a handful of bodies were recovered from the debris. Scientists believe the slide was caused by a number of factors and speculate that another slide will likely occur. What legends about the slide arose in its aftermath and continue to persist today?