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Illinois honoring 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

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SPRINGFIELD, IL (KTVI) - Americans honored the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address at a midnight reenactment in Springfield, Illinois.

At 12 a.m. Tuesday, November 19, 2013, Richard 'Fritz' Klein channeled the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

“Four score and seven years ago,” Klein wore a tall black hat, a salt-and-pepper beard and dark suit.  “Our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…”

The speech was only two minutes and fifteen seconds long.  But, history buffs turned out to see a handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Lincoln read the speech on November 19, 1863 at a ceremony to dedicate a new national cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  That was the site of the Battle of Gettysburg during the U.S. Civil War.  According to the National Park Service, Union Forces faced a Confederate Army in July 1863.  Three days, and over 50,000 casualties later, the Confederacy retreated.

The fight left dead bodies and shallow graves throughout the area.  Four months later, in October 1863, a cemetery was built to properly bury the dead.  Lincoln gave his speech at the new cemetery the following month.

The Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has events to commemorate the address through August.


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