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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.

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Archive for November 19th, 2009
by Gerald Boerner

  

“Don’t make me out to be an artist. I am an engineer. I am after the facts, only the facts.”
— Harold E. Edgerton

“In many ways, unexpected results are what have most inspired my photography.”
— Harold E. Edgerton

Edgerton’s work to help him "get under the scaly epidermis of reality to reach the essences.”
— Ansel Adams

“The trick to education is to teach people in such a way that they don’t realize they’re learning until it’s too late.”
— Harold E. Edgerton

“[he] was going to fire a rifle on stage and capture the 22-caliber bullet on Polaroid film, using a bulky, tripod-mounted strobe flash apparatus triggered by a microphone.”
— “I’ve Got a Secret” (1962)

“As his pioneering photographs stirred world-wide interest in strobe photography, his work became both scientific record and awe-inspiring art that increased our awareness and comprehension of the world around us.”
Art Knowledge News

“Edgerton’s use of stroboscopy—literally a method producing enough light in controlled flashes of short duration to effectively "stop motion" on photographic film—proved to be the foundation for the development of electronic speed flash used in modern cameras.”
Art Knowledge News

     

Harold Eugene (“Doc”) Edgerton (1903 – 1990)

Harold Eugene "Doc" Edgerton was a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is largely credited with transforming the stroboscope from an obscure laboratory instrument into a common device. For example; today, the electronic flash is completely associated with the field of photography.

Harold Edgerton In 1925 he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where he became a member of Acacia Fraternity. He earned an S.M. in electrical engineering from MIT in 1927. Edgerton used stroboscopes to study synchronous motors for his Sc.D. thesis in electrical engineering at MIT, awarded in 1931. He credited Charles Stark Draper with inspiring him to point stroboscopes at everyday objects: the first was a stream of water coming out of a faucet.

Career

Edgerton_Hummingbird In 1937 he began a lifelong association with photographer Gjon Mili, who used stroboscopic equipment, particularly a "multiflash" strobe light, to produce strikingly beautiful photographs, many of which appeared in Life Magazine. This strobe light could flash up to 1 million times a second. Edgerton was a pioneer in strobe photography, subsequently using the technique to capture images of balloons during their bursting, a bullet during its impact with an apple, or tracking of a devil stick motion, as only a few examples. He was awarded a bronze medal by the Royal Photographic Society in 1934, and the National Medal of Science in 1973.

Edgerton_Nuclear Blast He was a cofounder of the company EG&G, with Kenneth Germeshausen and Herbert Grier, in 1947. EG&G became a prime contractor for the Atomic Energy Commission and had a major role in photographing and recording nuclear tests for the United States through the fifties and sixties. For this role he developed the Rapatronic camera, which was supplied by EG&G.

In addition to having the scientific and engineering acumen to perfect strobe lighting commercially, Edgerton is equally recognized for his visual aesthetic: many of the striking images he created in illuminating phenomena that occurred too fast for the naked eye adorn art museums worldwide.

Edgerton_FaucetWater His work was instrumental in the development of side-scan sonar technology, used to scan the sea floor for wrecks. Edgerton worked with the undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau, by first providing him with underwater stroboscopes, and then by using sonar to discover the Britannic. Edgerton participated in the discovery of the American Civil War battleship USS Monitor. While working with Cousteau, he acquired the nickname he is still known by in photographic circles, "Papa Flash".

Edgerton’s work was featured in an October 1987 National Geographic Magazine article entitled, "Doc Edgerton: the man who made time stand still."

Edgerton_Golfballs He was appointed full professor in electric engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1948. He was especially loved by MIT students for his willingness to teach and his kindness: "The trick to education," he said, "is to teach people in such a way that they don’t realize they’re learning until it’s too late." His last undergraduate class, taught during fall semester 1977, was a freshman seminar titled "Bird and Insect Photography." One of the graduate student dormitories at MIT carries his name.

Works
  • Flash! Seeing the Unseen by Ultra High-Speed Photography (1939, with James R. Killian Jr.)
  • Electronic Flash, Strobe (1970), Moments of Vision (1979, with Mr. Killian)
  • Sonar Images (1986, with Mr. Killian)
  • A collection of his photographs, Stopping Time, was published in 1987 by Harry N. Abrams.
Legacy

Edgerton_Bullet and Apple On July 3, 1990, in an effort to memorialize his accomplishments, several Aurora community members decided to construct a "Hands-On" science center. It was designated as a "teaching museum," that would preserve Doc’s work and artifacts, as well as feature the "Explorit Zone" where people of all ages could participate in hands-on exhibits and interact with live science demonstrations. After five years of private and community-wide funding, as well as individual investments by Doc’s surviving family members, the Edgerton Explorit Center was officially dedicated on September 9, 1995.

  

Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Harold E. Edgerton that can be found at…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_E._Edgerton

by Gerald Boerner

  

“The Pilgrim Fathers were traitors, a band of renegades defying the authority of King James I. That was the official version.”
— BBC News

“The pilgrims believed that they were true Christians, determined to "purify" the Christian church and return to a scripture-based service.”
— BBC News

“Several attempts to settle in other parts of England failed. They had to emigrate, via Amsterdam to Leiden in the Netherlands, where their religious views were tolerated.”
— BBC News

“The pilgrims resolved to settle in the English colony in North America, hoping that in this remote outpost the King’s officials would leave them undisturbed.”
— BBC News

“They had economic problems and wanted to preserve their heritage. Furthermore they feared another Spanish Catholic invasion of the Netherlands, which would have threatened their newly found religious freedom.”
— BBC News

“The Pilgrims were English Calvinists who, unlike the Puritans did not try to transform the Church of England, but actually left the Church to form an independent sect. This group appeared at the end of Elizabeth I’s reign and in the early period of James I’s reign.”
— Open Door Web Site

“The Separatist congregation that sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 to found the New World colony of Plymouth became known as the Pilgrim Fathers. From the villages of Austerfield and Bawtry in Yorkshire, across to Nottinghamshire’s Scrooby, Babworth and Sturton-le-Steeple, then eastwards to Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, the Pilgrim’s steps can be traced through the Midlands.”
— Nottinghamshire Pilgrim Fathers

     

[Part 1 of a series on our Thanksgiving Celebration]

  

Thanksgiving Celebration: The Pilgrims’ Migrations

Group of Pilgrims Pilgrims (US), or Pilgrim Fathers (UK), is a name commonly applied to early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts. Their leadership came from a religious congregation who had fled a volatile political environment in the East Midlands of England for the relative calm & tolerance of Holland in the Netherlands. Concerned with losing their cultural identity, the group later arranged with English investors to establish a new colony in North America. The colony, established in 1620, became the oldest continuously inhabited British settlement and the second successful English settlement (after the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607) in what was to become the United States of America. The Pilgrims’ story of seeking religious freedom has become a central theme of the history and culture of the United States.

Separatists in Scrooby

John Calvin The core of the group that would come to be known as the Pilgrims were brought together by a common belief in the ideas promoted by Richard Clyfton, parson at All Saints’ Parish Church in Babworth, Nottinghamshire, between 1586 and 1605. This congregation held Separatist beliefs comparable to nonconforming movements (i.e., groups not in communion with the Church of England) led by Henry Barrowe, John Greenwood and Robert Browne. Unlike conforming Puritan groups who maintained their membership in and allegiance to the Church of England, Separatists held that their differences with the Church of England were irreconcilable and that their worship should be organized independently of the trappings, traditions and organization of a central church.

William Brewster, a former diplomatic assistant to the Netherlands, was living in the Scrooby manor house, serving as postmaster for the village and bailiff to the Archbishop of York. Having been favorably impressed by Clyfton’s services, he had begun participating in Separatist services led by John Smyth in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. The Separatists had long been controversial. Under the 1559 Act of Uniformity, it was illegal not to attend official Church of England services, with a fine of 12d (£0.05; 2005 equivalent: about £5) for each missed Sunday and holy day. The penalties for conducting unofficial services included imprisonment and larger fines. Under the policy of this time, Barrowe and Greenwood were executed for sedition in 1593.

During much of Brewster’s tenure (1595-1606), the Archbishop was Matthew Hutton. He displayed some sympathy to the Puritan (but not to the Separatist) cause, writing to Robert Cecil, Secretary of State to James I in 1604:

The Puritans (whose phantasticall zeale I mislike) though they differ in Ceremonies & accidentes, yet they agree with us in substance of religion, & I thinke all or the moste p[ar]te of them love his Ma[jes]tie, & the p[re]sente state, & I hope will yield to conformitie. But the Papistes are opposite & contrarie in very many substantiall pointes of religion, & cannot but wishe the Popes authoritie & popish religion to be established.

It had been hoped that when James came to power, a reconciliation allowing independence would be possible, but the Hampton Court Conference of 1604 denied substantially all the concessions requested by Puritans, save for an English translation of the Bible. Following the Conference, in 1605, Clyfton was declared a nonconformist and stripped of his position at Babworth. Brewster invited Clyfton to live at his home.

Migration to Amsterdam

Unable to obtain the papers necessary to leave England, members of the congregation agreed to leave surreptitiously, resorting to bribery to obtain passage. One documented attempt was in 1607, following Brewster’s resignation, when members of the congregation chartered a boat in Boston, Lincolnshire. This turned out to be a sting operation, with all arrested upon boarding. The entire party was jailed for one month awaiting arraignment, at which time all but seven were released. Missing from the record is for how long the remainder were held, but it is known that the leaders made it to Amsterdam about a year later.

In a second departure attempt in the spring of 1608, arrangements were made with a Dutch merchant to pick up church members along the Humber estuary at Immingham near Grimsby, Lincolnshire. The men had boarded the ship, at which time the sailors spotted an armed contingent approaching. The ship quickly departed before the women and children could board; the stranded members were rounded up but then released without charges.

Ultimately, at least 150 of the congregation did make their way to Amsterdam, meeting up with the Smyth party, who had joined with the Exiled English Church led by Francis Johnson (1562-1617), Barrowe’s successor. The Scrooby party remained there for about one year, citing growing tensions between Smyth and Johnson. Smyth had embraced the idea of believer’s baptism, which Clyfton and Johnson opposed.

Robinson decided that it would be best to remove his congregation from the fray, and permission to settle in Leiden was secured in 1609. With the congregation reconstituted as the English Exiled Church in Leyden, Robinson now became pastor; Clyfton, advanced in age, chose to stay behind in Amsterdam.

Leiden

The success of the congregation in Leiden was mixed. Leiden was a thriving industrial center, and many members were well able to support themselves working at Leiden University or in the textile, printing and brewing trades. Others were less able to bring in sufficient income, hampered by their rural backgrounds and the language barrier; for those, accommodations were made on an estate bought by Robinson and three partners.

Of their years in Leiden, Bradford wrote:

"For these & other reasons they removed to Leyden, a fair & bewtifull citie, and of a sweete situation, but made more famous by ye universitie wherwith it is adorned, in which of late had been so many learned man. But wanting that traffike by sea which Amerstdam injoyes, it was not so beneficiall for their outward means of living & estats. But being now hear pitchet they fell to such trads & imployments as they best could; valewing peace & their spirituall comforte above any other riches whatsoever. And at length they came to raise a competente & comforteable living, but with hard and continuall labor.

Brewster had been teaching English at the university, and in 1615, Robinson enrolled to pursue his doctorate. There, he participated in a series of debates, particularly regarding the contentious issue of Calvinism versus Arminianism (siding with the Calvinists against the Remonstrants). Brewster, in a venture financed by Thomas Brewer, acquired typesetting equipment about 1616 and began publishing the debates through a local press.

The Netherlands was, however, a land whose culture and language were strange and difficult for the English congregation to understand or learn. Their children were becoming more and more Dutch as the years passed by. The congregation came to believe that they faced eventual extinction if they remained there.

Decision to leave

By 1617, although the congregation was stable and relatively secure, there were ongoing issues that needed to be resolved.

Bradford noted that the congregation was aging, compounding the difficulties some had in supporting themselves. Some, having spent through their savings, gave up and returned to England. It was feared that more would follow and that the congregation would become unsustainable. The employment issues made it unattractive for others to come to Leiden, and younger members had begun leaving to find employment and adventure elsewhere. Also compelling was the possibility of missionary work, an opportunity that rarely arose in a Protestant stronghold.

Reasons for departure are suggested by Bradford, when he notes the "discouragements" of the hard life they had in the Netherlands, and the hope of attracting others by finding "a better, and easier place of living"; the "children" of the group being "drawn away by evil examples into extravagance and dangerous courses"; the "great hope, for the propagating and advancing the gospell of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world."

Edward Winslow’s list was similar. In addition to the economic worries and missionary possibilities, he stressed that it was important for the people to retain their English identity, culture and language. They also believed that the English Church in Leiden could do little to benefit the larger community there.

At the same time, there were many uncertainties about moving to such a place as America. Stories had come back from there about failed colonies. There were fears that the native people would be violent, that there would be no source of food or water, that exposure to unknown diseases was possible, and that travel by sea was always hazardous. Balancing all this was a local political situation that was in danger of becoming unstable: the truce in what would be known as the Eighty Years’ War was faltering, and there was fear over what the attitudes of Spain toward them might be.

Candidate destinations included Guiana, where the Dutch had already established Essequibo, or somewhere near the existing Virginia settlements. Virginia was an attractive destination because the presence of the older colony might offer better security. It was thought, however, that they should not settle too near since that might too closely duplicate the political environment back in England. The London Company that administered Virginia covered a large area, so some distance would be possible.

Brewster’s diversion

Amid these negotiations, William Brewster found himself involved with religious unrest emerging in Scotland. In 1618, James had promulgated the Five Articles of Perth, which were seen in Scotland as an attempt to encroach on their Presbyterian tradition. Pamphlets critical of this law were published by Brewster and smuggled into Scotland by April 1619. These pamphlets were traced back to Leiden, and a failed attempt to apprehend Brewster was made in July when his presence in England became known.

Also in July in Leiden, English ambassador Dudley Carleton became aware of the situation and began leaning on the Dutch government to extradite Brewster. An arrest was made in September, but only Thomas Brewer, the financier, was in custody. Brewster’s whereabouts between then and the colonists’ departure remain unknown. Brewster’s type was seized. After several months of delay, Brewer was sent to England for questioning, where he stonewalled government officials until well into 1620. One resulting concession that England did obtain from the Netherlands was a restriction on the press that would make such publications illegal to produce.

Thomas Brewer was ultimately convicted in England for his continued religious publication activities and sentenced in 1626 to a fourteen year prison term.

Preparations

Not all of the congregation would be able to depart on the first trip. Many members would not be able to settle their affairs within the time constraints, and the budget for travel and supplies was limited. It was decided that the initial settlement should be undertaken primarily by younger and stronger members. The remainder agreed to follow if and when they could.

Robinson would remain in Leiden with the larger portion of the congregation, and Brewster was to lead the American congregation. While the church in America would be run independently, it was agreed that membership would automatically be granted in either congregation to members who moved between the continents.

With personal and business matters agreed upon, supplies and a small ship were procured. Speedwell was to bring some passengers from the Netherlands to England, then on to America where it would be kept for the fishing business, with a crew hired for support services during the first year. A second, larger, ship, Mayflower, was leased for transport and exploration services.

Voyage

In July 1620, Speedwell departed Delfshaven with the Leiden colonists. Reaching Southampton, Hampshire, they met with Mayflower and the additional colonists hired by the investors. With final arrangements made, the two vessels set out on August 5 (Old Style)/August 15 (New Style).

Soon thereafter, the Speedwell crew reported that their ship was taking in water, so both were diverted to Dartmouth, Devon. There it was inspected for leaks and sealed, but a second attempt to depart also failed, bringing them only so far as Plymouth, Devon. It was decided that Speedwell was untrustworthy, and it was sold. It would later be learned that crew members had deliberately caused the ship to leak, allowing them to abandon their year-long commitments. The ship’s master and some of the crew transferred to Mayflower for the trip.

  

NOTE:
This concludes the first part of this exploration leading up to the celebration of the first Thanksgiving and how our current celebrations relate to these antecedents. Join us again tomorrow and onward through the Thanksgiving holidays.

It is our hope that these postings will heighten not only your enjoyment of Thanksgiving, but that you may also gain an enhanced understanding of how it came about… [GLB]

  

Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

The Migration of the Pilgrims to the New World which can be found at…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilgrim_Fathers

by Gerald Boerner

  

“My dead and wounded were nearly as great in number as those still on duty.”
— Colonel William C. Oates

“The truth will be known in time, and I leave that to show how much of the responsibility of Gettysburg rests on my shoulders.”
— James Longstreet

“We entered Gettysburg in the afternoon, just in time to meet the enemy entering the town, and in good season to drive him back before his getting a foothold.”
— John Buford

“In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear, but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls.”
— Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

“Rations were scarcely issued, and the men about preparing supper, when rumors that the enemy had been encountered that day near Gettysburg absorbed every other interest, and very soon orders came to march forthwith to Gettysburg.”
— Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

The Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address is a speech by Abraham Lincoln and one of the most quoted speeches in United States history. It was delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, during the American Civil War, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the decisive Battle of Gettysburg.

The only confirmed photo of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg (circled), taken about noon, just after Lincoln arrived and some three hours before the speech. To Lincoln’s right is his bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon.

Abraham Lincoln’s carefully crafted address, secondary to other presentations that day, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history. In just over two minutes, Lincoln invoked the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and redefined the Civil War as a struggle not merely for the Union, but as “a new birth of freedom” that would bring true equality to all of its citizens, and that would also create a unified nation in which states’ rights were no longer dominant.

Beginning with the now-iconic phrase:

“Four score and seven years ago,” Lincoln referred to the events of the Civil War and described the ceremony at Gettysburg as an opportunity not only to consecrate the grounds of a cemetery, but also to dedicate the living to the struggle to ensure that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Despite the speech’s prominent place in the history and popular culture of the United States, the exact wording of the speech is disputed. The five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address differ in a number of details and also differ from contemporary newspaper reprints of the speech.

Background

From July 1–3, 1863, more than 160,000 American soldiers clashed in the Battle of Gettysburg, in what would prove to be a turning point of the Civil War. The battle also had a major impact on the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which numbered only 2,400 inhabitants. The battlefield contained the bodies of more than 7,500 dead soldiers and several thousand horses of the Army of the Potomac and the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia, and the stench of rotting bodies in the humid July air was overpowering.

Battle_of_Gettysburg_798px

Union soldiers dead at
Gettysburg, photographed
by
Timothy H. O’Sullivan,
July 5–6, 1863

Interring the dead in a dignified and orderly manner became a high priority for the few thousand residents of Gettysburg. Initially, the town planned to buy land for a cemetery and then ask the families of the dead to pay for their burial. However, David Wills, a wealthy 32-year-old attorney, objected to this idea and wrote to the Governor of Pennsylvania, Andrew Gregg Curtin, suggesting instead a National Cemetery to be funded by the states. Wills was authorized to purchase 17 acres (69,000 m²) for a cemetery to honor those lost in the battle, paying $2,475.87 for the land.

Wills originally planned to dedicate this new cemetery on Wednesday, October 23, and invited Edward Everett, who had served as Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Governor of Massachusetts, president of Harvard University, and Vice Presidential candidate, to be the main speaker. At that time, Everett was a widely famed orator. In reply, Everett told Wills and his organizing committee that he would be unable to prepare an appropriate speech in such a short period of time, and requested that the date be postponed. The committee agreed, and the dedication was postponed until Thursday, November 19.

Gettsyburg invitation Letter of David Wills inviting
Abraham Lincoln to make a
few remarks, noting that
Edward Everett would deliver
the oration

Wills and the event committee then invited President Lincoln to participate in the ceremony. Wills’s letter stated, “It is the desire that, after the Oration, you, as Chief Executive of the nation, formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks.” Lincoln received formal notice of his invitation to participate only seventeen days before the ceremony, whereas Everett had been invited 40 days earlier: “Although there is some evidence Lincoln expected Wills’s letter, its late date makes the author appear presumptuous…Seventeen days was extraordinarily short notice for presidential participation even by nineteenth-century standards.” Furthermore, Wills’s letter “made it equally clear to the president that he would have only a small part in the ceremonies”, perhaps akin to the modern tradition of inviting a noted public figure to do a ribbon-cutting at a grand opening.

LincolnGett The Lincoln Address Memorial,
designed by Louis Henrick,
with bust of Abraham Lincoln by
Henry Bush-Brown , erected
at the Gettysburg Battlefield
in 1912.

Lincoln arrived by train in Gettysburg on November 18, and spent the night as a guest in Wills’s house on the Gettysburg town square, where he put the finishing touches on the speech he had written in Washington, D.C. Contrary to a common myth, Lincoln neither completed his address while on the train nor wrote it on the back of an envelope. This story is at odds with the existence of several early drafts on Executive Mansion stationery as well as the reports of Lincoln’s final editing while a guest of David Wills in Gettysburg. On the morning of November 19 at 9:30 a.m., Lincoln, astride a chestnut bay horse and riding between Secretary of State William H. Seward and Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, joined in a procession with the assembled dignitaries, townspeople, and widows marching out to the grounds to be dedicated.

Government-Vedder-Highsmith-detail-2 Detail of Elihu Vedder’s mural
Government (1896), in the
Library of Congress. The title
figure bears a tablet inscribed
with Lincoln’s famous phrase.

Approximately 15,000 people are estimated to have attended the ceremony, including the sitting governors of six of the 24 Union states: Andrew Gregg Curtin of Pennsylvania, Augustus Bradford of Maryland, Oliver P. Morton of Indiana, Horatio Seymour of New York, Joel Parker of New Jersey, and David Tod of Ohio. Canadian politician William McDougall attended as Lincoln’s guest. The precise location of the program within the grounds of the cemetery is disputed. Reinterment of the bodies buried from field graves into the cemetery, which had begun within months of the battle, was less than half complete on the day of the ceremony.

Political significance

By August 1863, the casualty lists from Civil War battles included a quarter of a million names. As a result, anti-war and anti-Lincoln sentiments grew in the North. Peace Democrats known as Copperheads were eager to oust Lincoln in the 1864 election in order to end the war through concessions to the Confederacy, and Lincoln’s 1863 drafts were highly unpopular. Hatred for Lincoln’s draft climaxed just ten days after the Battle of Gettysburg with the New York Draft Riots. In September 1863, Governor Curtin warned Lincoln that political sentiments were turning against the war effort:

If the election were to occur now, the result would be extremely doubtful, and although most of our discreet friends are sanguine of the result, my impression is, the chances would be against us. The draft is very odious in the State… the Democratic leaders have succeeded in exciting prejudice and passion, and have infused their poison into the minds of the people to a very large extent, and the changes are against us.

The following year the Presidential election would be held, and Lincoln was quite concerned that the Copperheads might prevail. Well into the summer of 1864, Lincoln remained convinced that the opposition would oust him. In the fall of 1863, one of Lincoln’s principal concerns was to sustain the Union’s spirits toward the war effort. That goal was the chief aim of Lincoln’s Address at Gettysburg.

Legacy

The importance of the Gettysburg Address in the history of the United States is underscored by its enduring presence in American culture. In addition to its prominent place carved into a stone cella on the south wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Gettysburg Address is frequently referred to in works of popular culture, with the implicit expectation that contemporary audiences will be familiar with Lincoln’s words.

Lincoln_Memorial_(south_wall_interior) The words of the Gettysburg Address
can be seen carved into the south
wall of the interior of the
Lincoln
Memorial
.

In the many generations that have passed since the Address, it has remained among the most famous speeches in American history. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is itself referenced in another of those famed orations, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963, King began with a reference to President Lincoln and his enduring words: “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.”

The Constitution of France (under the Fifth Republic established in 1958) states that the principle of the Republic of France is “gouvernement du peuple, par le peuple et pour le peuple” (“government of the people, by the people, and for the people,”) a literal translation of Lincoln’s words.

The address has become a part of patriotic American tradition, extolled by many writers and poets, including Carl Sandburg.

Other Events on this Day
  • In 1493…
    Christopher Columbus discovers Puerto Rico on his second voyage.
  • In 1831…
    James A. Garfield, the twentieth U.S. president, is born in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
  • In 1863…
    Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address
    .
  • In 1919…
    The Senate rejects the Treaty of Versailles and U.S. participation in the League of Nations.
  • In 1969…
    Apollo 12 astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean make the second landing on the moon.

Dates and events based on:

William J. Bennett and John Cribb, (2008) The American Patriot’s Almanac Daily Readings on America. (Kindle Edition)

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

The Gettysburg Address that can be found at…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gettysburg_Address