November 20, 2018

155th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 2018

The battle of Gettysburg, which took place from July 1 - 3, 1863, remains the most costly battles in US history of any war, with casualties for both armies estimated at 46,000 to 51,000 soldiers.

That fall, at the dedication of the National Cemetery of Gettysburg on November 19,1863, the featured speaker was famed orator Edward Everett.  Everett, former governor of Massachusetts, congressman, president of Harvard, minister to the Court of St. James, secretary of state and senator, and Unitarian minister, spoke without notes for about two hours.

Benjamin French later wrote, “Mr. Everett was listened to with breathless silence by all that immense crowd, and he had his audience in tears many times during his masterly effort.”

Here's one passage from early in his speech:

As my eye ranges over the fields whose sods were so lately moistened by the blood of gallant and loyal men, I feel, as never before, how truly it was said of old, that it is sweet and becoming to die for ones country. I feel as never before, how justly, from the dawn of history to the present time, men have paid the homage of their gratitude and admiration to the memory of those who nobly sacrificed their lives, that their fellow men may live in safety and in honor. And if this tribute were ever due, when, to whom, could it be more justly paid than to those whose last resting place we this day commend to the blessing of Heaven and of men?

For consider, my friends, what would have been the consequences to the country, to yourselves, and to all you hold dear, if those who sleep beneath our feet, and their gallant comrades who survive to serve their country on other fields of danger, had failed in their duty on those memorable days. Consider what, at this moment, would be the condition of the United States, if that noble Army of the Potomac, instead of gallantly and for the second time beating back the tide of invasion from Maryland and Pennsylvania, had been itself driven from these well contested heights, thrown back in confusion on Baltimore, or trampled down, discomfited, scattered to the four winds. What, in that sad event, would have been the fate of the Monumental city, of Harrisburg, of Philadelphia, of Washington, the capital of the Union, each and every one of which would have lain at the mercy of the enemy, accordingly as it might have pleased him, spurred by passion, flushed with victory, and confident of continued success, to direct his course?

Lincoln spoke next. It took him about two minutes to deliver his 272 words:

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.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to 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—oand that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Everett, who had submitted his speech to Lincoln in advance, wrote him the next day: "I should be glad, if I could flatter myself, that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” (Additional information on Everett, including his role in raising money to save Mt. Vernon.)

The Gettysburg Address is regarded as one of the greatest presidential speeches in American history.  The Library of Congress has assembled several documents and photographs into this online exhibit.

Events in or near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Museum and historic sites in or near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Related products from The History List Store


For more major history events, see our History Lists section of the site.

 

 

 

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November 11, 2018

Notable anniversaries in US history in December 2018

195th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine forbidding European interference in the Americas on December 2, 1823

235th anniversary of George Washington's farewell address to his officers on December 4, 1783

85th anniversary of Prohibition ending on December 5, 1933

170th anniversary of the start of the Gold Rush when President James K. Polk confirmed in his State of the Union address that large quantities of gold had been discovered in California on December 5, 1848

240th anniversary of John Jay being elected President of the Continental Congress on December 10, 1778

120th anniversary of the Treaty of Paris ending the Spanish-American War on December 10, 1898

100th anniversary of  President Woodrow Wilson making the first U.S. Presidential trip to Europe on December 13, 1918

245th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773

↣ Read more and get suggestions of events and places to visit.

115th anniversary of the Wright brothers flight on December 17, 1903

↣ Read more and get suggestions of events and places to visit.

235th anniversary of George Washington resigning as Commander in Chief  on December 23, 1783

240th anniversary of the British capturing Savannah, Georgia in the Revolutionary War on December 29, 1778

→ Notable anniversaries for this and future months are listed in our History Lists section of the site.

 

 

 

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November 1, 2018

Notable anniversaries in US history in November 2018

100th anniversary of the end of World War I on November 11, 1918 

↣ Read more and get suggestions of events and places to visit.

155th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 

↣ Read more and get suggestions of events and places to visit.

55th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963

↣ Read more and get suggestions of events and places to visit.

75th anniversary of the Battle of Tarawa on November 20-23, 1943

300th anniversary of Blackbeard's death on November 22, 1718

235th anniversary of the last British Revolutionary War soldier leaving the United States on November 25, 1783

155th anniversary of the Battle of Missionary Ridge during the Civil War on November 25, 1863

150th anniversary of the Battle of Washita River during the Civil War on November 27, 1868

75th anniversary of the Tehran Conference during World War II with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill on November 28, 1943

 

↣ Our top 10 list includes more historical background and travel suggestions of where to visit and when, including special anniversary events.

 

 

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June 14, 2018

What book about history has made the biggest impact and how old were you when you read it?

We asked our Facebook community about books they've read that made an impact on them and what age they were when they read them.

We have received fascinating responses and the answers are definitely worth browsing through. You'll find fiction and non-fiction, political and religious tracts, books for young readers as well as very serious books for adults.

And it's been interesting to see the ages at which people read these books. In some cases, books for young readers have been read and re-read into adulthood, and in others, a book for adults was read at a very young age.

Thanks to everyone who participated. If you would like to contribute to the list, add them on the comments below.


Non-fiction

 

The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin

The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin

"I read this book around college graduation - a history of the world from the point of view of scientific discoveries. Chapters included topics like geology (plate tectonics), time, mathematics, and medicine. So much of history learned in school breaks up time basically by wars and civilizations, that it was enlightening to see things a different way. With a science background, it wasn't that the facts were new, just how he strung it together."

 

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

"I guess though the book that really made the greatest impact was Hamilton by Chernow. I read that in while on vacation in 2008 and I've been a Hamilton junkie ever since."

 

League of the Ho-De-No-Sau-Nee or Iroquois by Lewis Henry Morgan

League of the Ho-De-No-Sau-Nee or Iroquois by Lewis Henry Morgan

 

Life Under the Pharaohs by Leonard Cottrell

Life Under the Pharaohs by Leonard Cottrell

"Two books: "Life Under the Pharaohs" by Leonard Cottrell; League of the Ho-De-No-Sau-Nee or Iroquois by Lewis Henry Morgan. I was 9 or 10. They helped foster a lifelong passion for history."

 

The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig

The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig

"I was 10 years old, the same age as Esther, when I read it and I can still remember the words and picture the images they depicted in my mind. This heartbreaking, intimate look of a terrible experience started my love of history told through individual stories."

 

Night by Elie Wiesel

Night by Elie Wiesel

"12-13 years of age. That book had a profound impact on me that led me down a deep rabbit hole, kicking off a “follow the string” scenario which became an intense love affair with 20th Century American History. So much so that it ended up influencing my bachelor’s degree."

 

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer

"Read it in 1988 as a senior in high school. This book set me on a thirty-year journey to read as much about WW2 as possible."

 

Truman by David McCullough

Truman by David McCullough

"Read it in my mid 40’s. Came to appreciate what an underrated President he was. Wish we had more politicians like him today. He was incredibly fiscally responsible and concerned about social welfare."

 

Last Men Out: The True Story of America's Heroic Final Hours in Vietnam by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

Last Men Out: The True Story of America's Heroic Final Hours in Vietnam by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

"A true historical account of the last few men remaining at the embassy in Saigon 1975 and how they destroyed important papers on the roof and got all US personnel out. I was 33 or so when it came out."

 

Fiction

 

Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley

Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley

"I read it in 7th grade (not as a requirement in class) and definitely gave me a deeper perspective on slavery and the early United States than we got in school."

"When I was in 6th grade (12ish years old ), my dad handed me Roots. I have been an avid reader and history buff ever since."

 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

"Read when I was 12. I know it’s fiction but it had a profound effect on me."

 

Books for young readers

 

A Child's History of the World by V. M. Hillyer

A Child's History of the World by V. M. Hillyer

"I read it over and over from the time I could read, about 5 years old."

 

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

"Read when around 11 or 12. This book inspired me to write my doctoral dissertation on the Holocaust. I'm graduating today with my Ph.D."

"Read around the same age that Anne Frank was when she wrote it. Anne Frank was an amazing young girl - wise beyond her years. She recognized the need to preserve history and knew she was living through something that had to be exposed. Her diary left a huge impact on me. We must never forget."

 

Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

"I started reading them when I was nine and I've read each one several times. They had a huge effect on my young brain! They also gave me some in-depth knowledge of what life was like in the American West in the late 19th century."

 

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

"I was probably in 4th or 5th Grade. I’m still obsessed with all things British and late Victorian, and dolls. Sara Crewe and her Emily, the evil Miss Minchin, the idea of a fireplace in your room, the warm biscuits that soothed the starving orphan, and the Indian Gentleman who transformed the awful attic for the mistreated little princess. Heaven!"

 

Young Bess by Margaret Irwin

Young Bess by Margaret Irwin

"Read it in the early 1950s when I was about 11 and it began my life-long love-affair with Tudor history."

 

Justin Morgan had a Horse by Marguerite Henry

Justin Morgan had a Horse by Marguerite Henry

"I was about 8-9 yrs old when I went "Justin Morgan had a Horse" by Marguerite Henry. It inspired me to not only learn more about Morgan horses (and several other breeds), but it morphed into New England and Revolutionary War history. Sounds like a fluff story, but the more I learned, the more I wanted to read."

 

The Chestry Oak by Kate Seredy

The Chestry Oak by Kate Seredy

"One of the best books I've ever read, and FINALLY reprinted and available again after many years."

 

My Brother Sam Is Dead by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

My Brother Sam Is Dead by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

"I don’t remember how old. But I’ve spent many years learning about the revolution since then."

 

Classic Comics

The old Classic Comics

"These provided an amazing introduction to the great historical novels (Tale of 2 Cities and Uncle Tom's Cabin come to mind immediately) that made them approachable for young teens. My best friend's father worked for the comic printers so we had immediate access to all the new ones.) I was -- and still am -- a voracious reader of history books and historical novels."

 


We'd like to hear from you! Contribute to the list by adding them on the comments below.

 

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April 21, 2018

2018 National Council on Public History (NCPH) Award Winners, with links to projects and publications

2018 National Council on Public History (NCPH) Award Winners, from their announcement, with links to projects and publications

NCPH Founders Award
The NCPH Council of Past Presidents developed this award in 2015 to recognize those individuals who were present at the creation of NCPH and who played critical roles in the organization’s success.

Suellen M. Hoy
Joel A. Tarr, Carnegie Mellon University

Board of Directors Award for Extraordinary Service
Awarded for the first time this year, this award is given when the NCPH Board seeks to recognize publicly an individual who has, through long-term and substantive effort, made transformational contributions to the work of NCPH.

Cathy Stanton, Tufts University

Outstanding Public History Project Award
This award is presented for work completed within the previous two calendar years that contributes to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or that serves as a model of professional public history practice. NCPH acknowledges the generous support of Stevie and Ted Wolf that makes this award possible.

Award Winner: The Mere Distinction of Colour, Elizabeth Chew and Christian J. Cotz, James Madison's Montpelier; Chris Danemayer, Proun Design LLC; and Molly O'Brien, Northern Light Productions

Honorable Mention: Confinement in the Land of Enchantment: Japanese Americans in New Mexico during World War II, Sarah R. Payne, Colorado State University Public Lands History Center; Andrew Russell, Central New Mexico Community College; and Victor Yamada, New Mexico Japanese American Citizens League

NCPH Book Award
For the best new book about or growing out of public history theory, study, or practice.

Award Winner: Andrew G. Kirk, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Doom Towns: The People and Landscapes of Atomic Testing, A Graphic History (Oxford University Press, 2017)

Honorable Mention: Ronald Rudin, Concordia University, Kouchibouguac: Removal, Resistance, and Remembrance at a Canadian National Park (University of Toronto Press, 2016)

Excellent in Consulting Award
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of public history through consulting or contract work.

Individual Award: Delia Hagen, Hagen Historical Consulting, African-American Heritage Resources in Helena, Montana

Honorable Mention: Ryan Shackleton, Know History, Métis Nation of Ontario

G. Wesley Johnson Award
Named in honor of the founding editor of The Public Historian, this award recognizes the most outstanding article appearing in the NCPH journal during the previous volume year.

Award Winner: Natasha Erlank, University of Johannesburg, for "From Main Reef to Albertina Sisulu Road: The Signposted Heroine and the Politics of Memory," The Public Historian Vol 39, No 2

Honorable Mention: Gregory Rosenthal, Roanoke College, for "Make Roanoke Queer Again: Community History and Urban Change in a Southern City,The Public Historian Vol 39, No 1

Student Project Award
This award recognizes the contributions of student work to the field of public history and provides assistance for conference travel costs.

Award Winner: Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights, Taylor C. Bye, Kathryn B. Carpenter, Samantha Hollingsworth, Leah Palmer, Kevin Ploth, and Jennifer Tufts, University of Missouri-Kansas City


For more information, see the Awards page on the NCPH website

 

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