Friday, July 4, 2014

President Lincoln, Fourth of July, 1863

Abraham Lincoln, Washington, 1863

"How long ago is it - 80-odd years - since on the Fourth of July for the first time in the history of the world a nation by its representatives, assembled and declared as a self-evident truth that 'all men are created equal.'... And now, on this last Fourth of July just passed, when we have a gigantic rebellion, at the bottom of which is an effort to overthrow the principle that all men are created equal, we have the surrender of a most powerful position and army on that very day, and not only so, but in a succession of battles in Pennsylvania, near to us, through three days, so rapidly fought that they might be called one great battle on the first, second and third of the month of July; and on the fourth, the cohorts of those who opposed the declaration that all men are created equal 'turned tail' and ran. Gentlemen, this is a glorious theme, and the occasion for a speech, but I am not prepared to make one worthy of the occasion."

Los Angeles Times
Friday, July 4, 2014 page A15