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A speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Lincoln was speaking at the dedication of a soldiers' cemetery at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. The opening and closing lines are particularly memorable: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal&ellipsis4; [We must] be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth.”
Note: Lincoln surprised his audience at Gettysburg with the brevity of his speech. He delivered the Gettysburg Address, which lasted about three minutes, after a two-hour speech by Edward Everett, one of the leading orators of the day.