Obama omits 'Under God' when reciting Gettysburg Address on 150th anniversary
POSTED: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 12:41pm
UPDATED: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 3:35pm
Washington, D.C. (KETK) —
The words, "four score and seven years ago," are the beginning to one of the most notable speeches in United States history, The Gettysburg Address.
The text President Abraham Lincoln recited before the nation can be read below:
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 -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
November 19, 1863
According to Best of Cain, a website run by former republican primary presidential nominee and businessman, Herman Cain, President Obama omitted the words "Under God," when he recited the speech in a video.
The White House claims the reason the words were not in the text read by the president, is because he read the "Nicolay Copy" instead of the "Bliss Copy," which is the one Lincoln read to the nation.
Named for John G. Nicolay, President Lincoln's personal secretary,the "Nicolay Copy," is considered the "first draft" of the speech, begun in Washington on White house stationery. The second page is written on different paper stock, indicating it was finished in Gettysburg before the cemetery dedication began. Lincoln gave this draft to Nicolay, who went to Gettysburg with Lincoln and witnessed the speech. The Library of Congress owns this manuscript.
The "Bliss Copy" which is the copy read by Lincoln and is engraved on the Lincoln Memorial, has been the most often reproduced, notably on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. It is named after Colonel Alexander Bliss, stepson of historian George Bancroft. It is the last known copy written by Lincoln and the only one signed and dated by him. Today it is on display at the Lincoln Room of the White House.
To see the reciting of the address by President Obama, click here.