Happy Presidents’ Day

For Presidents' Day, we'd like to re-run a post from November 19, 2009: During July 1-3, 1863, the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War took place around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Confederate defeat is seen as the turning point of the war ending the invasion of the North. Over 160,000 participated in the battle with close to 50,000 dead or wounded. The over 7,000 dead were placed in quickly excavated graves or not buried at all. Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin authorized the purchase of seventeen acres for a cemetery so that the Union dead could be properly buried. David Wills, a Gettysburg attorney, bought the land and hired landscape architect William Saunders to draw a plan. Wills also planned the dedication ceremony for the cemetery and invited President Abraham Lincoln to give a few remarks. On November 19, 1863, a crowd of around 15,000 gathered for the Gettysburg National Cemetery's dedication even though the reinterment of the Union dead was only half completed. The main speaker was Edward Everett, a more »

Seven score and six years ago…

Continuing the Gettysburg address theme from yesterday, here is a post from the National Postal Museum Library… November 19th marks the 146th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. In 1948, the U.S. Post Office issued a 3-cent commemorative stamp on the occasion of the 85th anniversary. The image of a contemplative Lincoln appearing on the stamp was inspired by the statue of Lincoln standing, created by Daniel Chester French  located at the State Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska. The inscription, “THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE, SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH” is a direct quotation from the address. The stamp was designed by Charles R. Chickering. The National Postal Museum Library maintains a file of the correspondence, photographs, and other materials surrounding the creation of this and many other stamps, collectively called the “Stamp Design Files”. Materials from both the Museum and the Library’s Stamp Design Files were digitized for the online exhibition “From Postmaster to President: Celebrating Lincoln’s 200th Birthday Through Stamps & more »

Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

During July 1-3, 1863, the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War took place around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Confederate defeat is seen as the turning point of the war ending the invasion of the North. Over 160,000 participated in the battle with close to 50,000 dead or wounded. The over 7,000 dead were placed in quickly excavated graves or not buried at all. Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin authorized the purchase of seventeen acres for a cemetery so that the Union dead could be properly buried. David Wills, a Gettysburg attorney, bought the land and hired landscape architect William Saunders to draw a plan. Wills also planned the dedication ceremony for the cemetery and invited President Abraham Lincoln to give a few remarks. On November 19, 1863, a crowd of around 15,000 gathered for the Gettysburg National Cemetery's dedication even though the reinterment of the Union dead was only half completed. The main speaker was Edward Everett, a famous orator who gave a two-hour formal address. Thereafter, Lincoln then stood and more »

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