The preamble of the Federal Constitution says

President John F. Kennedy - January 20, 1961

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President John F. Kennedy - January 20, 1961

The History Place - Great Speeches Collection

Abraham Lincoln: Gettysburg Address

The Battle of Gettysburg occurred over three hot summer days, July 1 to July 3, 1863, around the small market town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It began as a skirmish but by its end involved 160,000 Americans and effectively decided the fate of the Union. 

On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln went to the battlefield to dedicate it as a National Cemetery. The main orator, Edward Everett of Massachusetts, delivered a two-hour formal address. The president then had his turn. He spoke in his high, penetrating voice, and in a little over two minutes delivered this speech, surprising everyone by its brevity and leaving many quite unimpressed at first.

Over time, however, this speech with its ending - government of the People, by the People, for the People - has come to symbolize the definition of democracy itself.

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