November 19, 1863

Edward Everett Gives Gettysburg Address

Region:
Greater Boston

On this day in 1863, Edward Everett spoke at the dedication of Gettysburg's National Cemetery, giving what is remembered today as the other Gettysburg Address. The Boston orator was the obvious choice for the occasion. During his 40-year career as professor, diplomat, and statesman, he had consistently dazzled audiences with his brilliant oratory. At Gettysburg, Everett held the crowd spellbound for two hours. But his words are not the ones that are remembered from that day. When Abraham Lincoln followed Everett to the podium, the president spoke for only three minutes, but what he said entered the national memory and has remained there ever since. Everett's Gettysburg address lives on, in the words of one historian, "as a foil to that better thing that followed."

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