At this point, we have posted quite a few videos of people performing the Gettysburg Address. But with today as the anniversary of Lincoln’s speech, we thought Johnny Cash’s more musical interpretation makes for a nice soundtrack to accompany some facts about the Gettysburg Address.
- Lincoln DID prepare for his speech. Despite the contrary popular myth, Lincoln had begun researching and drafting his speech before leaving Washington D.C. While he only had a few weeks to prepare, most scholars agree that he did not wait until the train ride to begin considering his remarks.
- Lincoln delivered his remarks to a crowd of 15,000 people.
- William R. Rathvon is the only known person of that crowd of 15,000 to leave a recording detailing his experience, including a recitation of the address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU6UacteZus
- While there are five known manuscripts for the Gettysburg Address, they all contain slight variations so we don’t really know what Lincoln said exactly (but we have a pretty good idea). Most scholars follow the Bliss manuscript as the standard.
- Lincoln was not the only person delivering a speech that day; Lincoln was not even the headliner. That honor went to Edward Everett who spoke for two hours that day. Lincoln spoke for a little over two minutes; the standard version of the speech runs to only 272 words.