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How many years is a score: [and Why It’s Called a Score]


On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln gave a speech that people would continue to talk about for hundreds of years. But how well do you know the Gettysburg Address? Check out some things about the famous speech that you might not know.

“Four score and seven years ago” is the first line of Lincoln’s speech. Since a score is equal to 20 years, he was talking about 1776, which is 87 years ago and when the Declaration of Independence was signed. Seventy-seven years have passed since the speech was given.
On the day of the speech, Lincoln’s speech wasn’t even the best thing that happened. Instead, Edward Everett, who spoke for two hours before Lincoln, had the most important words to say.

Everett later wrote to Lincoln about his speech, saying, “I wish I could say that I got as close to the main idea of the event in two hours as you did in two minutes.”
The current text of the speech comes from the fifth of five handwritten copies, all of which were written by Lincoln. Each copy is slightly different, which is likely because Lincoln edited it himself.
Two copies of the speech are in the Library of Congress, one is in the Illinois State Historical Library, one is at Cornell University, and one is in the Lincoln Room of the White House.

How many years is a score: [and Why It’s Called a Score]

Four hundred and seven years ago, our forefathers brought into being on this continent a new country based on the idea that all people are created equal.

Now, we are in the middle of a big civil war, which is a test to see if a country with such strong ideas and strong people can last for a long time. We meet on a big battleground during that war. We are here to give a piece of that field as a final resting place for the people who gave their lives here so that this country could live. We should do this because it is the right thing to do.

But in a larger sense, we can’t “dedicate,” “sanctify,” or “hallow” this land. The brave men, both living and dead, who fought here have made it holy, and we can’t add or take away from that. What we say here won’t be noticed or remembered for long, but what they did here will never be forgotten. Instead, it is up to us who are still alive to finish the work that the brave people who fought here have done so far.

It is more important for us to be here committed to the big job we still have to do. We should take inspiration from the people who died here and be more dedicated to the cause for which they gave their lives. We should make a strong promise that the people who died here will not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, will be free again, and that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people will not end.


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