|The crowd gathers at Gettysburg|
Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address, dedicating our country’s first national cemetery, 150 years ago on November 19, 1863.
It wasn't an easy afternoon. The day was cold and dreary, and Lincoln was ill. Unbeknownst to him he was suffering from smallpox, but he sat and waited, along with the rest of the 15,000 people gathered.
Senator Edward Everett spoke first, rambling on for over two hours. Long winded to say the least, he finally sat down, and Lincoln rose and spoke his memorable words.
|Senator Edward Everett|
The entire Gettysburg Address was only two minutes long--so quick that many in the audience missed the beauty of its brevity. Others didn't get it at all, like The Patriot and Union paper out of Harrisburg thirty-five miles away. The editor called the president’s words “silly remarks” and readily dismissed it.
That was 150 years ago, and I guess that negative editorial, which ran against the grain of all the other news at the time, had been bothering the folks in Harrisburg ever since.
A few days ago The Patriot and Union, with tongue in cheek, retracted their long ago opinion, and in the style of the Gettysburg Address printed this:
“Seven score and ten years ago, the forefathers of this media institution brought forth to its audience a judgment so flawed, so tainted by hubris, so lacking in the perspective history would bring, that it cannot remain unaddressed in our archives.”
Within a day, the reaction to their retraction stunned the editors involved. Every major news outlet carried the story, and thousands of comments and questions flooded into their offices, many begging for interviews. Even SNL included a special presentation during their “Weekend News.
And after all these years...
I bet old Abe is smiling from his grave.