|Abraham Lincoln, photographed February 27, 1860, just before speaking at Cooper Union |
- Library of Congress -
I realize that a 152nd anniversary doesn't seem as glamorous as a 150th, the mighty Sesquicentennial, however this evening marks the 152nd Anniversary of one of our country's most notable, and one of my personal favorite speeches. While in grad school, I had the opportunity to research Abraham Lincoln's pivotal speech given at the Cooper Union in New York City on February 27, 1860. Scouring over every word and line, again and again, I had an increased respect for the man (if that was possible). Considered lengthy by today's standards and attention spans, Lincoln's speech is, among many other things, a finely crafted example of sound historical research, honed oratory skills, and sharpened debate tools. It is widely considered to be the speech that elevated Lincoln to the nomination, and ultimately the Presidency of the United States.
Rather than droning on and on, please take the time to view the excellent video below. In the video, filmed live at the Cooper Union in 2004, Lincoln historian Harold Holzer provides an excellent narration of the events leading up to February 1860, and actor Sam Waterston gives a powerful reading of Lincoln's words that will transplant you back 152 years. Enjoy!