Sunday, November 19, 2006
NOVEMBER 19TH: AN HISTORIC DAY FROM GETTYSBURG TO THE JAY TREATY
It was comprised of ten sentences in two hundred and seventy-two words, but Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Gettysburg Address is certainly the most brilliant and best known of any speech given by any American president. Lincoln's involvement in the day's program had simply been an after thought. Edward Everett, the world famous orator spoke for two hours before Lincoln did. Contrary to legend, Lincoln DID NOT compose this speech on the back of an envelope, nor did he compose it on the train on his way from the city of Washington D.C. to Pennsylvania. The battle raged over three days from July 1st to July 3rd, 1863. The speech itself was composed four and a half months after the infamous battle in which seven thousand, five hundred American soldiers lost their lives. The stench of rotting corpses had made hundreds of people ill in this Pennsylvania community. The dedication was supposed to occur on September 23rd of the same year, but Edward Everett told the dedicating committee that there simply was no way that he could prepare a worthy speech for the occasion in just thirty days. Everett had served as Secretary of State, US. Senator, A congressman and as Governor of the state of Massachusetts. Fifteen thousand people and the governors of six states attended. Lincoln used the word "nation" five times and never the word "union". Lincoln's purpose was clear even in great sorrow. It was also on this day in American history, that we signed the famous "Jay Treaty" of the Revolutionary War and the Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles of World War One. It was also the day that Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev met for the first time in 1985-- the start of a peaceful Russia. Happy 87th birthday to Alan Young who of course was the co-star in TVs "Mister Ed" and happy 73rd birthday to Larry King. I went to church this morning and went away feeling that somehow this accident mess will somehow work out. I may have to go to Small Claims Court but it has taught me a most valuable lesson-- and as the priest told me "Sometimes it's not that God is not answering your prayer-- He just needs you to learn well your life lesson before he offers the solution. Pray, dear friends that it may yet be okay-- eventually!