Update on Dedication Day -
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson will share the keynote speaker role on November 19, for the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. President Obama will not attend and the Secretary of Interior will represent the administration. This year’s Dedication Day ceremony will observe the 150th ...Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. in the Soldiers' National Cemetery and is sponsored by Gettysburg National Military Park, the Gettysburg Foundation, the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania and Gettysburg College.The event also features the U.S. Marine Band; “President Lincoln’s Own Band” from the movie, Lincoln; Governor Tom Corbett; a reading of the Gettysburg Address by Lincoln portrayer James Getty; and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will administer the Oath of Allegiance to sixteen new citizens.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
the Constitution itself, is by no means unitary; it is a provisional compromise between the ideal political principle of the Declaration, and the actual selfishness of the people North and South.
A free negro of the African race, whose ancestors were brought to this country and sold as slaves, is not a “citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States.When the Constitution was adopted, they were not regarded in any of the States as members of the community which constituted the State, and were not numbered among its “people or citizens.”
The only two clauses in the Constitution which point to this race treat them as persons whom it was morally lawfully to deal in as articles of property and to hold as slaves.
Lincoln was able to achieve the loftiness, ideality, and brevity of the Gettysburg Address because he had spent a good part of the 1850s repeatedly relating all the most sensitive issues of the day to the Declaration’s supreme principle. If all men are created equal, they cannot be property.
It was to uphold this constitution, and the Union created by it, that our officers and soldiers gave their lives at Gettysburg. How dare he, then, standing on their graves, misstate the cause for which they died, and libel the statesmen who founded the government? They were men possessing too much self-respect to declare that negroes were their equals, or were entitled to equal privileges.
A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to visit -- to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African American to the presidency of the United States. Let there be no reason now -- (cheers, applause) -- let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth. (Cheers, applause.)