The College of Charleston Commemorates the Gettysburg Address

gettysburg address

On Monday, November 11th at 4:00 pm in Randolph Hall, the College of Charleston will honor the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address with a panel discussion. The panel will feature Congressman James Clyburn, Dr. Vernon Burton, and Dr. Brian McGee. A Q&A will be held immediately after the panel followed by a meet-and-greet reception. The event is free and open to the public. For any questions, please contact Samantha Shirley at

In a recent NPR report, Scott Simon tellingly described the Gettysburg Address as the speech that “defined a nation and embodied eloquence.” It is probably one of the best known examples of political discourse in world history. Millions of American schoolchildren have at some time or other been required to memorize the speech. It should come as no surprise then (well, maybe a little surprising) that a number of celebrities have recited the Gettysburg Address as their own sort of homage to Lincoln’s dedication to the principle of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We’d like to highlight some of the best recitations for you all.

Many people find it difficult today to separate Gregory Peck from Atticus Finch, the southern lawyer who fought for equality and justice in his own small town. It seems fitting, then, that Peck would be one of the actors to recite the address.

Colin Powell is just one of the American political figures and military leaders to honor Lincoln’s Address through recitation. Here, he reads the speech as part of the opening of the National Museum of American History.

In January 1963, George C. Wallace, Alabama governor. declared, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!” Over the course of 1963, South Carolina schools would integrate, President John F. Kennedy promised a Civil Rights Bill, and Martin Luther King Jr. would deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech. It seems fitting that one of the ways 1963 would close is with Tex Ritter’s reminder to the American people of Lincoln’s words with his recitation of the address on the Jimmy Dean Show.


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