It’s February 12. And we all know what that means.
“Time to go buy Valentine candy?”
Uh . . . no.
It’s Abraham Lincoln’s birthdate. Everyone knows this. Well, maybe not everyone. But for me, Lincoln’s birthday has always been one of the highlights of the year. Seriously. For as long as I can remember, February 12 has been a big day for me.
Lincoln has always been my favorite president. I can remember doing research, if you can call looking at his picture in the L volume of World Book Encyclopedia research, in first grade. And my appreciation for him has only grown since elementary school.
I grew up with the traditional rags to riches story of a self-made man, growing up in the wilds of the American west and becoming president. But he’s become much more complex as I’ve had the chance to spend time with him. Perhaps one of the most powerful professional learning experiences I have ever had was spending a week at Gettysburg College with historian Gabor Boritt.
Lincoln is more than just a tall guy with a really good media team. More than a guy who walked three miles in the rain to return six cents in change and who split wood to make fences.
So today . . . ten things you probably didn’t know about Abraham Lincoln. Read more
November 19, 1863. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Perhaps 20,000 people had gathered to hear former Massachusetts Senator and Governor Edward Everett deliver a speech dedicating the cemetery at the Gettysburg battlefield. The dedication had been postponed a month to allow Everett more time to prepare his remarks.
The weather was mild for November, windy with a few sprinkles during the afternoon.
The Cemetery Dedication Committee had, as a courtesy, also invited United States President Abraham Lincoln to deliver “a few appropriate remarks” following Everett.
And while Everett delivered the first address at Gettysburg, it is the two minute, 10 sentence speech by Lincoln that we remember. Lincoln’s “appropriate remarks” should be required reading for every student who walks through our doors. Lincoln’s short but profound speech embodies the core of American democracy – equality, freedom, a government by and for the people.
EDSITEment has developed a four lesson unit that focuses on Lincoln’s vision for a strong Union that worked to ensure these core values. After completing this unit, students will have a better understanding of why Lincoln revered the union of the American states as “the last best, hope of earth.” You’ll find everything you need – handouts, primary sources, photos, teacher instructions
It’s a perfect fit for the next few weeks between now and November 19th.
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