Thursday, February 12, 2009

February 12: Oxford Corrects Lincoln's Mistake (Vol. 43, pp. 415-420)

Today is President Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and the heading on today's reading reminds us of another story. Lincoln supposedly thought his Gettysburg Address was a failure. Today, we know it as one of the greatest speeches in American history. In Oxford, at Balliol College, Lincoln's words are cast on a bronze plaque to commemorate what that institution believes is the perfection of English prose.

Here we have the Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation and a letter that Lincoln wrote to a mother who lost five of her sons fighting for the Union cause. Just a taste of the prose of one of the most eloquent presidents ever.

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